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    Hormel Foods Acquires Valley Fress

    AUSTIN, Minn. -- Hormel Foods Corp. here has acquired Turlock, Calif.-based Valley Fresh, Inc., a leader in canned ready-to-eat chicken, for approximately $78 million.

    AUSTIN, Minn. -- Hormel Foods Corp. here has acquired Turlock, Calif.-based Valley Fresh, Inc., a leader in canned ready-to-eat chicken, for approximately $78 million.

    Valley's Fresh's annual sales are approximately $68 million, and Hormel Foods expects the deal to be accretive to its 2006 earnings.

    The company distributes more than 50 convenient precooked chicken products on a national basis, primarily under the Valley Fresh brand. A privately held company, Valley Fresh employs approximately 265 employees at its 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Turlock.

    "Our acquisition of Valley Fresh further strengthens the portfolio within our grocery products business segment," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, president and c.e.o. "This healthy and convenient line of products is on-trend with today's consumer and we are excited about the growth opportunity within this category. We now have the number one position in several key shelf-stable categories, including canned ready-to-eat chicken, canned luncheon meat and canned chili and stew."

    A multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, Hormel Foods Corp. enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, and foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value.

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