The portfolio transformation continues at General Mills

PARIS – General Mills, Inc. before the pandemic it grew by about 1%. During the pandemic and when the world overcame the worst prisons and home stay orders, the company grew by 2% to 3%. The goal of management is to reach the highest limit of this growth area and even move higher. To that end, the company will continue to reshape its portfolio, said Jeffrey L. Harmening, president and CEO.

In late May, General Mills sold its Helper and Suddenly Salad companies to private equity firm Kelso & Company in New York City for approximately $ 610 million. A few weeks earlier, General Mills had bought pizza crust maker TNT Crust from private equity firm Peak Rock Capital in Austin, Texas.

“We are pleased with the results so far,” he said. Harmening on June 15 during a presentation at the Deutsche Bank dbAccess global consumer conference. “The things we gained worked well. So far, we have done well against the companies we sold. “

Other portfolio formation maneuvers included the sale of its 51% stake in Yoplait SAS to French dairy cooperative Sodiaal in exchange for full ownership of Yoplait’s Canadian company, the sale of the European test business to Cerelia and the acquisition of Tyson Foods, Inc. a pet food business for $ 1.2 billion.

“To achieve this 3% growth rate, we believe this will require more acquisitions and possible divestitures,” Mr Harmening said. “But we feel good about what we’ve done, and we’re confident we can do it.

“We have to do both things at the same time. Therefore, our goal will be to find the means to gain growth-promoting and tangential things we are already doing. And then to the point that we have to give up assets where someone else is probably a better owner than we are and that are worse for our current growth. “

Asked about the current economic environment in developed markets around the world, Mr Harmening did not offer optimism, but said the current environment could benefit General Mills.

“I don’t think I’m going to resist too much and say that the economic outlook for many developed markets is not very positive,” he said. “But we tend to work well in an environment where the economy is tough. And the reason for this is that, as in the last recession, consumers are switching from eating out to eating out. “

He said the current cost of eating outside is about 2.5 times higher than the cost of eating at home.

“When people talk a lot about trading, they start with, okay, what will a private label do? This is not really the best starting point, “he said. “The starting point is where will people eat? And they’re eating more and more at home, and we’re actually starting to notice that in the last month or two. The percentage of meals at home has increased by a point or two, even in the last few months as people itch to get out but are worried about the economic scenarios they face.

Elvira Parkinson

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