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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

General Mills Wants Diageo's Pillsbury




New York -- In a move that could mean the corporate union of Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Doughboy, General Mills Inc. said Thursday that it was in talks to acquire Diageo PLC's Pillsbury division.


Neither side would give details on a proposed price for Pillsbury. Analysts said it could end up at between $9 billion and $11 billion, with Diageo retaining a minority stake. They said the deal could be completed by early next week.


General Mills is attracted to Pillsbury's refrigerated-dough business. Together with General Mills' yogurt business, which consists of Yoplait and Colombo yogurt, it would create a behemoth with $1.7 billion in sales in that key corner of the supermarket.


"They would have a refrigerated division that is second only to Kraft, and maybe the leader in terms of growth potential," said John McMillin, a food stocks analyst for Prudential Securities.


Another analyst said that while there would be immediate cost savings by combining the two companies it was not clear that the merger would increase General Mills' sales in the long run.