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General Mills Completes Acquisition of Blue Buffalo

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The sale price was about $8B.

(Press Release) MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) announced it has completed the acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. for $40 per share in an all-cash transaction, which represents an enterprise value of approximately $8 billion. The addition of Blue Buffalo establishes General Mills as the leader in the Wholesome Natural pet food category, the fastest growing portion of the $30 billion U.S. pet food market, and accelerates the company’s portfolio reshaping strategy.

“Today marks an important new chapter as we welcome Blue Buffalo to the General Mills family,” said General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening. “The Blue Buffalo team has built a terrific brand that is leading the transformation of the U.S. pet food market and continues to generate top-tier growth. This acquisition adds a compelling new growth platform to the General Mills portfolio, and I’m confident that we can leverage our capabilities to drive continued growth for the BLUE brand and significant value for General Mills shareholders.”

“My leadership team and I, along with our entire organization of over 1,700 ‘Buffs’, are excited to join the General Mills family,” said Blue Buffalo co-founder Billy Bishop. “Our business continues to grow, with first-quarter results ahead of our plan, and we’ll use General Mills’ world-class capabilities in innovation, supply chain, distribution, and sales to build on our success and advance our mission of reaching more pet parents and feeding more pets.”

Founded in 2002, Blue Buffalo is the fastest growing major pet food company in the United States making natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under the BLUE brand, which includes BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet. BLUE is the #1 Wholesome Natural pet food brand in the U.S. with $1.275 billion in net sales and $319 million in Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal year 2017, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 25%. Over the past three years, Blue Buffalo has delivered compound annual net sales growth of 12% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 18%.

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General Mills will operate Blue Buffalo under a newly formed Pet operating segment. Senior members of the Blue Buffalo management team, including Billy Bishop, will continue to lead Blue Buffalo from its headquarters in Wilton, CT. Bishop will report to Harmening.

Blue Buffalo will be incorporated into General Mills financial results beginning in fiscal 2019. General Mills will provide details on its fiscal 2019 growth expectations, including Blue Buffalo, when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings results in late June.

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