St. Louis-based Post Holdings Inc. would likely be among those interested in buying the food business of Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, maker of French’s mustard and a host of other branded products, according to people familiar with the matter.
The sale of the business may begin as early as this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as details aren’t public. J.M. Smucker Co., Campbell Soup Co., Pinnacle Foods Inc. and Ajinomoto Co. may also be interested, they said. The French’s mustard maker could be valued at about $3 billion, one of the people said.
Reckitt said in April it will begin a review and consider all options for the business, which it called “non-core”. French’s Foods accounts for 4 percent of the group’s total revenue, with 411 million pounds ($531 million) in sales last year. A sale could help pay for Reckitt’s $16.6 billion purchase of infant-formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., announced in February.
Private equity firms may also bid, the people said. Morgan Stanley is advising on the sale, they said.