Vlasic to Sell Argentine Beef Business To Swift Armour

Vlasic Foods International announced May 24 that it will sell its Argentine beef business to Swift Armour Holdings Co., for an undisclosed sum. Vlasic Foods had said in February that it would begin exploring options for this business, which it had deemed nonstrategic. The sale is expected to be completed prior to the company's fiscal year end in July, pending approvals and financing. "We have moved quickly and decisively to divest our beef business at a good value because it is a nonstrategic, commodity business. This sale will allow us to pay down debt and focus more resources on growing our core Vlasic and Swanson businesses," says Robert F. Bernstock, Vlasic Foods International president and CEO. The Swift Armour beef business had 1998 sales of more than $200 million. It employs 2,000 people and produces chilled, frozen, and canned beef products that are mainly sold to wholesale customers such as manufacturers and foodservice. The sale of the beef business is Vlasic's second business divestiture this fiscal year. In January it sold Kattus gourmet foods distribution business in Germany.

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