Kellogg to acquire up-and-coming US clean-label protein bar brand

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09 Oct 2017 --- Kellogg Company has entered into an agreement to acquire Chicago Bar Company LLC, maker of RXBAR, a line of clean-label protein bars made with whole food ingredients. Kellogg refers to the company as “the fastest-growing nutrition bar brand in the US.”

RXBAR will continue to operate independently as a standalone business and will be able to leverage Kellogg’s scale and resources to continue driving its growth.

“RXBAR is a unique and innovative company. Its values, people and cutting-edge approach represent an exciting opportunity for our business. Adding a pioneer in clean-label, high-protein snacking to our portfolio bolsters our already strong wholesome snacks offering. RXBAR is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg as we pivot to growth,” says Kellogg Company CEO Steve Cahillane.

“With its strong millennial consumption and persified channel presence including e-commerce, RXBAR is perfectly positioned to perform well against future food trends,” Cahillane adds.

Versatile bars
“With a base of egg whites, fruit and nuts encased in iconic packaging, each RXBAR provides 12 grams of protein in 210 to 220 calories,” Kellogg says.

Kellogg continues: “RXBARs don't compromise on taste, nutrition or convenience, making them great before and after workouts, in between meals or as a quick, on-the-go breakfast.”

The bars are available in 11 different flavors, with additional seasonal and limited-time varieties, and are distributed in the US. The company also recently launched RXBAR Kids, which contain the same core ingredients as RXBARs, but in kid-friendly flavors and portions.

“We carefully considered who the right partner would be for RXBAR's future. We have always been committed to delivering the highest quality products that taste great, and being radically candid and transparent with our consumers, and these priorities remain,” says Peter Rahal, CEO and Co-Founder of RXBAR.

“Joining Kellogg is not only a great cultural fit, but it provides us with the tools and resources to accelerate our growth so the brand can scale even faster than it is today,” Rahal adds.

“The RXBAR team has built an incredible business, with impressive growth and profitability. Our focus will be on helping to drive the brand's continued growth,” says Kellogg North America President Paul Norman. “We're excited to welcome the RXBAR team to Kellogg.”

Transaction’s financial details
The acquisition by Kellogg is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2017. The purchase price is US$600 million, or approximately US$400 million net of tax benefits. Growing rapidly, RXBAR's net sales are expected to be approximately US$120 million in 2017.

Kellogg expects the multiple on projected 2018 EBITDA to be in the range of 12 to 14 times, inclusive of the tax benefits to the purchase price. Excluding one-time costs, this acquisition is expected to be immaterial to EPS in 2017 and 2018.

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