Lamb Weston Acquires Australian Frozen Potato Processor
Lamb Weston Holdings has purchased Marvel Packers, a frozen potato processor in Australia that produces Marvel and Farmers Best brand french fries, potato cakes and specialty items as well as co-packs Lamb Weston products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The family owned company, in business since 1929, began packing frozen french fries during the 1960s. Its potato processing and storage facilities are based in Hallam, Victoria.
“The purchase is part of our strategy to strengthen global capabilities and continue to drive growth both organically and through acquisitions,” said Tom Werner, president and chief executive officer of Eagle, Idaho, USA-headquartered. “Marvel not only provides us with an opportunity to increase our position in Australia’s 1.1 billion pound market with in-country production, it also creates new avenues to serve our customers.”
The Marvel facility adds approximately 50 million pounds of production capacity to Lamb Weston’s existing global manufacturing network. Including the newly acquired factory in Australia, Lamb Weston will own and operate 16 processing plants worldwide, and an additional 9 facilities in conjunction with its joint venture partners.
Quarterly Dividend Due
Meanwhile, the Eagle, Idaho, USA-headquartered company has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share of Lamb Weston common stock, an approximately 5 percent increase from $0.19125 per share in the prior quarter. The dividend is payable on March 1, 2019, to stockholders of record at the close of business on February 1, 2019.
In addition, Lamb Weston stated that it will continue to target an annual dividend payout ratio of 25 percent to 35 percent of Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share.
The board of directors also authorized the repurchase up to $250 million of its common stock. The program has no expiration date.
Under the share repurchase program, the company is authorized to repurchase shares of common stock in the open market, privately negotiated transactions or a combination of the foregoing. The timing and amount of stock repurchases will be subject to the Company’s evaluation of market conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors.