US food company General Mills is pushing its vegetable businesses to the side of the plate, announcing Thursday the sale of its iconic Green Giant and Le Sueur brands.
B&G Foods has agreed to pay $765 million in cash for the frozen and canned vegetables brands, said General Mills.
The Minnesota-based food giant said the sale was a strategic move to "shape its portfolio for growth, focusing its resources on the brands, categories, and geographic markets that have the greatest future growth opportunities."
General Mills, operating in more than 100 countries, has a wide portfolio of brands, including Cheerios breakfast cereal, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Yoplait yogurt and Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Gold Medal baking products.
General Mills said it would continue to operate the Green Giant business in Europe and certain other export markets under license from B&G Foods.
It said the Green Giant and Le Sueur businesses included in the deal, which covers the US, Canada and select other markets, had about $585 million in net sales in fiscal 2015 that ended on May 31, of the company's total sales of $17.6 billion.
B&G said the acquisition was expected to be completed in the fourth quarter this year, subject to regulatory approvals.
It is adding the new frozen food lines to its portfolio of shelf-stable foods in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, including Cream of Wheat cereal, Vermont Maid Syrup and Ortega Taco Shells.
B&G investors cheered the news, with shares jumping 11.7 percent to $34.00, while General Mills shares rose 1.4 percent to $57.61.