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Mars Food to acquire majority stake in Tasty Bite

On closing the acquisition, Mars Food will expand its all-natural vegetarian offerings in the US, and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavour expertise, and strategic sourcing of quality ingredients throughout its portfolio

Mars Food will acquire Preferred Brands International’s Tasty Bite brand that sells ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products. Preferred Brands International is a Stamford, Connecticut-based, fully integrated manufacturer and marketer of all-natural, ready-to-heat food products sold primarily under the Tasty Bite brand.

Mars Food is the manufacturer of American chocolate brand Mars Inc. Mars Food, a segment of Mars, Incorporated, has a broad portfolio of brands loved by consumers around the world, including ready-to-eat and dry rice and grains, sauces, meal kits, meal helpers, and spices under the brands Uncle Ben’s, Masterfoods, Dolmio, Seeds of Change and others.

Tasty Bite has an Indian subsidiary ‘Tasty Bite Eatables’, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. This subsidiary will continue to be listed after the acquisition. Tasty Bite’s portfolio includes a wide range of vegetarian offerings, including Indian/Asian entrees, spice and simmer meal kits, and organic rice and lentils. While majority of the sales are generated in North America, Preferred Brands also manufactures products sold through retailers in the UK and Australia and through foodservice in India.

“Tasty Bite’s broad range of dinner time products, focused on Indian and Asian cuisines, makes it a natural complement to our existing portfolio,” said Fiona Dawson, Global President, Mars Food.

“Tasty Bite is a fast growing Indian/ Asian dinner time brand. Upon closing of the acquisition, Mars Food will expand our all-natural vegetarian offerings in the US, and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavour expertise, and strategic sourcing of quality ingredients throughout our portfolio,” Dawson added.

Tasty Bites manufactures products from its Pune, India manufacturing facility. This agreement brings together two strong food businesses focused on delivering healthy, tasty, and convenient foods that bring inspiration and enjoyment to the world’s dinner table.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Mars Food family,” said Ashok Vasudevan, CEO, Tasty Bite.

“The nearly quarter century of uninterrupted growth of Tasty Bite since its inception was powered by our deep commitment to sustainable practices and to the pursuit of consumer delight. Mars is one of the largest food companies in the world and a recognised leader and role model for corporate sustainability. Mars Foods’ strong brand portfolio, global infrastructure, and shared values make it well-positioned to take Tasty Bite to the next level,” Vasudevan added.

The acquisition of Preferred Brands International is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and is expected to close by Q4 2017. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Mars Food. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to Mars Food, and AZB & Partners served as India legal advisor.

Tasty Bite was represented by Goldman Sachs, The Giannuzzi Group, and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.

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