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UPDATE 1-Atkins Nutritional to go public in deal with blank-check firm

(Adds deal details)

April 11 Weight-control nutrition company Atkins Nutritional Holdings has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check company Conyers Park Acquisition Corp in a deal that will value the combined company at about $856 million.

Atkins, owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Management LLC, and Conyers will combine under a holding company called Simply Good Foods Co.

Simply Good Foods will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SMPL" after the deal's expected close in June.

Blank-check companies such as Conyers do not generally have an established business plan and are used as investment vehicles to buy other companies. They have become popular as a quick way to list shares.

Atkins, best known for its eponymous high-protein diet, makes protein bars, shakes and frozen meals under the SimplyProtein, Atkins Endulge, Atkins Harvest Trail, and Atkins Lift brands.

The selling equity owners of Atkins will get $730.1 million, which includes 10.3 million shares of Simply Good Foods common stock valued at $10.00 per share.

This transaction will be funded through a combination of cash, stock, and debt financing.

"With Atkins as the first part of the platform, Simply Good Foods is poised to become a dynamic vehicle for future long-term growth and M&A within both the snacking space and broader food category," Dave West, executive founder of Conyers Park, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Reuters had reported in 2015 that Atkins was pursuing an initial public offering after an effort to sell the company did not meet its price expectations. (reut.rs/2ppds1v) (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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