Post Holdings (US)

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Post Holdings is best known as the #3 cereal marketer in the US after Kellogg's and General Mills, with brands such as Honey Bunches Of Oats and Pebbles. However, breakfast cereal makes up only part of its increasingly diversified range, which has expanded dramatically through a series of acquisitions since 2013. In the consumer portfolio, cereals are accompanied by a variety of active nutrition brands including PowerBar (acquired from Nestle in 2014), Premier Protein and Dymatize. Another 2014 purchase was Michael Foods, which markets a range of value-added egg, potato and dairy products including Better'n Eggs, All Whites and Simply Potatoes. That is now the group's single biggest business. There is also a sizeable private label peanut butter and granola division. In 2015, Post acquired rival cereal and oats manufacturer MOM Brands (Malt-O-Meal, Mini Spooners etc) for $1.15bn. As a result of these and other acquisitions, Post Holdings revenues for the year to Sept 2016 topped $5.0bn but the company reported a second net loss because of finance and acquisition expenses. In 2017, Post agreed to acquire British breakfast icon Weetabix for £1.4bn, followed by US company Bob Evans Farms for $1.5bn. Robert Vitale is CEO of Post. Original founder CW Post was one of several entrepreneurs to exploit the sudden popularity of cereal-based products in the 1890s, with products such as the cereal beverage Postum and ready to eat Grape-Nuts. As a result of multiple acquisitions in the 1920s the business eveolved into General Foods and later Kraft. The Post cereal business was sold to Ralcorp in 2007, and then demerged as an independent group in 2012. Subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 21st November 2016

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: US-based Post Holdings added to its rapidly expanding portfolio with a deal to acquire the packaged foods division of Bob Evans Farms for $1.5bn. Though it is best-known for its cereals, such as top-sellers Honey Bunches of Oats and Fruity Pebbles and recently acquired Weetabix, Post has also expanded into other types of breakfast food. Bob Evans makes a range of breakfast sausages, potato and past side-dishes. It will combined with Michael Foods, which makes a similar range of products, and was acquired by Post in 2014.

Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Apr 2017: British breakfast icon Weetabix is to swap its current Asian owners for US company Post Holdings. One of the original pioneers in breakfast cereal alongside Kellogg's, Post still owns leading US brand Honey Bunches of Oats as well as Raisin Bran and other cereals. However, it has also been expanding into new sectors in recent years through acquisitions such as PowerBar (from Nestle) and egg and dairy producer Michael Foods. Weetabix is its first major step into the UK. Post is to pay £1.4bn (including debt) to buy out majority shareholder Bright Food of China and its minority partner Baring Private Capital.

Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Mar 2017: US group Post Holdings has been tipped as the favourite to acquire the 60% shareholding in UK cereals group Weetabix from current Chinese owner Bright Food. Weetabix is the UK's top-selling breakfast cereal brand, and the second largest producer overall behind Kellogg's. Rival bidders Cereal Partners and Barilla are understood to have withdrawn from the auction. According to reports, one other bidder remains in negotiations, possibly Associated British Foods.

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Nov 2015: Post Holdings, best known for its Honey Bunches of Oats breakfast cereal, saw annual revenues more than double to $4.6bn as a result of a string of foodservice and specialist cereal acquisitions. However the group reported a second year of net losses as a result of finance expense associated with those deals.

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