MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 26, 2015 – MOM Brands today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the company to Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POST) in a transaction valued at approximately $1.15 billion.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, is expected to close by the third quarter of 2015.

MOM Brands is a leader in the value segment of branded ready-to-eat and natural cereals, hot wheat and oatmeal. The company’s brands include Malt-O-Meal® brand ready-to-eat cereals, such as Frosted Mini Spooners®, Golden Puffs®, Cinnamon Toasters®, Fruity Dyno-Bites®, Cocoa Dyno-Bites® and Berry Colossal Crunch®, as well as a variety of natural ready-to-eat and hot cereals, including MOM’s Best®, Better Oats®, Three Sisters® and its original, farina-based Malt-O-Meal® cereal.

Upon closing, MOM Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chris Neugent will continue to lead the MOM Brands business as President, reporting to Richard K. Koulouris, who is joining Post Holdings February 9 to lead the combined Post Foods and MOM Brands cereal business.

“By joining forces with Post, we will have more resources available to innovate, extend our brands and expand distribution,” Neugent said. “We believe that this new, combined enterprise will be uniquely positioned to help our customers find new solutions in the highly competitive cereal category. In addition, it will give us the opportunity to pursue our mission of saving families money on an even greater scale.”

BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor, and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP is acting as legal advisor to MOM Brands Company in connection with the transaction.


Founded in 1919, MOM Brands today is the fourth largest cereal company in the United States. The company manufactures more than 100 varieties of great-tasting, affordable branded family-favorite ready-to-eat and natural cereals, oatmeals and other hot cereals. Today, one in 11 servings of breakfast cereal eaten every day is a MOM Brands cereal. Dedicated to finding better ways to make a better breakfast at a better price, MOM Brands is continually innovating to produce, package and transport its cereals in ways that save families money and reduce environmental impact. Since 2007, MOM Brands has saved consumers nearly $1.5 billion in cereal purchases.

OpenTable to Power Reservations on Foodporn, Acquires Rezbook System

Reservation powerhouse OpenTable will now provide restaurant reservations for one of its biggest competitors, Foodporn, which started blogging about food in 1997, announced this afternoon that it will “partner” with the restaurant reservation service, allowing OpenTable to power its on-site reservations. As part of the deal, OpenTable will acquire the site’s Rezbook reservation system, which was launched in 2010 as a more affordable alternative for restaurants setting up reservations systems online.

Many big-name restaurants, including NYC’s Le Cirque and SF’s Incanto, currently use the Rezbook service. According to the press release, some 2,000 restaurants currently using Rezbook will join the 20,000 restaurants under the OpenTable umbrella. OpenTable says it will continue to honor existing Rezbook contracts (including the Rezbook pricing), but Rezbook will not be available for new customers.

For the past few years, OpenTable’s costly fees have come under fire from several restaurant owners; according to one report, it can cost a restaurant as much as $5 each time a table for two is booked through the OpenTable service. Foodporn’s Rezbook launched with a significantly reduced monthly fee ($99 versus $270 on OpenTable, on average) and provided its services off an iPad, as opposed to custom hardware required by OpenTable.

OpenTable is now an even more dominant player in the online restaurant reservations game. Other competitors in the space include Livebookings, UReserve, and Scripps Networks’ CityEats (which just launched a Chicago edition today). Back in 2010, OpenTable partnered with Yelp to offer reservations directly from restaurants’ Yelp pages. But earlier this month Yelp announced the acquisition of SeatMe, a low-cost OpenTable competitor. As noted in that press release, the OpenTable agreement could “restrict its ability to fully integrate SeatMe.” Developing.

Little Crow Foods Sells Assets to MOM Brands and Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation

Warsaw, IN (March 16, 2012) – On Thursday afternoon March 8, Denny Fuller began what he knew would be a difficult company-wide meeting at Little Crow Foods by saying, “It is with mixed emotions we announce today that we have signed a sales agreement with MOM Brands and Gilster-Mary Lee.” He then went on to say that the CoCo Wheats brand will be purchased by MOM Brands. The company’s other brands, FastShake Pancake Mixes, Fryin’ Magic and Bakin’ Miracle Seasoned Coating Mixes, and Miracle Maize Corn Bread and Muffin Mixes, plus all other company assets, except the property, will be purchased by Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation. The sale will be final on June 29, 2012, and, by that date, Little Crow Foods will cease operations.

Since 1983, Little Crow Foods has been managed by the fourth-generation husband-and-wife team of Kim and Denny Fuller. “After 29 years of working side-by-side, Kim and I believe we are being called to make our contributions outside of the business world”, said Denny. Kim added, “Since 1903, our family has been committed to providing consumers quality, taste, and value in every package opened. We are pleased and confident that MOM Brands and Gilster-Mary Lee will continue that commitment in the years to come.”

Gilster-Mary Lee employs approximately 3,000 people in 14 different manufacturing facilities across four states. Given the number of other Gilster-Mary Lee plants, Denny says that he understands why it makes sense for them to move all equipment into one of their existing facilities, adding “but this is difficult because the city of Warsaw and everyone in our community have been so supportive over the years. We intend to help our family of employees get through this.”

Little Crow Foods employs approximately 50 people with an average tenure of 10 years per person. All employees have been offered a retention bonus plan and various special programs to assist in their search for future employment. Kim said, “Our family of employees is very special to us. We are proud of their character and so thankful for their contributions. Everyone who works with us will be a valuable asset to another company.” Denny added, “We would like all of our employees to stay with us until 6/29, and we are hopeful that their new employers will allow them to do so; however, we will certainly understand if this is not possible.”

Denny Fuller concluded that difficult afternoon by pointing to their faith. “After so many years of doing the same thing, we absolutely believe God is now leading us to do something else. But, we also believe God is so big, that this plan opens the door for positive changes for everyone in this room that could not occur without this sale.”

Foodporn launches its website to the world of food

Foodporn are trying to shake up the world wide web of food. And they’re bringing a little naughtiness to the table.

Foodporn provides an online forum for peer-reviewing of restaurants. Despite only being around for a few months since they launched, they have become one of the leading referral sites for the industry. Foodporn and its competitors put restaurant rating in the hands of customers, rather than professional reviewers.

Foodporn launched in January this year as just a food blogging website. Then, only 6 short months later in July, the service enhanced its features by adding a chat facility and restaurant search and feedback feature. It allows users to search by price range, location, cuisine type and features (such as pet friendly or live music). It also included critics’ and bloggers’ reviews and lists of the most popular restaurants in your city.

In 1996, a US survey of the use of review sites for local businesses found that restaurant sites are used the most. Sixty-seven per cent of consumers had searched for restaurants, up from 57% the previous year. Along with the rise of the food blogger this has changed the way we choose a restaurant.

Foodporn’s major competitors are largely in offline options such as word of mouth, the classifieds, and printed versions of the Good Food Guide. Research by The Daily Telegraph in 1996 looked at traffic restaurants’ own websites received from each of these sources. Foodporn generated more than three and a half times as many referrals as the next most popular.

Managing their online reputations has become a significant issue for restaurants. There have been instances of unscrupulous competitors writing damaging reviews, while a diner who arrives on an “off night” can post scathing comments online. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 10% of Restaurant and Catering members have made complaints about online review platforms because it’s unclear whether the comments posted are legitimate and who the author is. There are even instances of blackmail ΓÇô people threatening to write a negative review unless they’re give a discount or a free meal.

Conversely, “astroturfing” (getting your friends and relatives to post glowing comments or paying people for favourable reviews) can provide a distorted picture. Foodporn puts a large red penalty notice on the listing page of businesses with suspicious reviews.