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(Aug. 7, 2001) -- ConAgra Foods, Omaha, Neb., today said it will combine its roughly $12 billion retail food business under one umbrella company to be headed by former Campbell Soup Co. executive F. Martin Thrasher.

The new company, ConAgra Retail Food Products Co., will include ConAgra's four retail units, ConAgra Refrigerated Products and ConAgra Dairy, both based in Downer's Grove, Ill., ConAgra Grocery Products, Irvine, Calif., and ConAgra Frozen, Omaha.

Mr. Thrasher, most recently president of Campbell North American, will be based at corporate headquarters in Omaha and will be charged with bringing together the strengths of the separate units, said Tim McMahon, VP-marketing and communications at ConAgra.

The new company will help ConAgra toward its goal of presenting one face to its increasingly consolidated retail customers and will facilitate cross-brand marketing efforts, Mr. McMahon said. A stand-alone company will be created to house ConAgra's Chef Boyardee and Homestyle Bakes brands for one year to honor a non-compete clause Mr. Thrasher had with Campbell. -- Stephanie Thompson

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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