Kellogg to separate into three independent companies, focusing on snacks, cereals & plant-based

The company announces separation of two businesses as bold next steps in portfolio transformation
Kellogg to separate into three independent companies, focusing on snacks, cereals & plant-based
Photo - Kellogg
  • The Company plans to separate into three independent companies, by spinning off its US, Canadian, and Caribbean cereal and plant-based businesses, which collectively represented approximately 20% of its net sales in 2021

  • The remaining business, which represented about 80% of net sales in 2021, is focused on global snacking, international cereal and noodles, and North America frozen breakfast

  • This transaction represents another bold action toward transforming Kellogg's portfolio to further enhance performance and value

  • The proposed separations create greater strategic, operational, and financial focus for each company and its stakeholders, and will build on Kellogg's current momentum

Kellogg Company announced that its Board of Directors has approved a plan to separate its North American cereal and plant-based foods businesses, via tax-free spin-offs, resulting in three independent public companies, each better positioned to unlock their full standalone potential. The three companies, whose names will be determined later, would be the following:

  • "Global Snacking Co.", with about $11.4 billion* in net sales, will be a leading company in global snacking, international cereal and noodles, and North America frozen breakfast, with iconic, world-class brands and strong underlying growth momentum and profitability;

  • "North America Cereal Co.", with about $2.4 billion* in net sales, will be a leading cereal company in the US, Canada, and Caribbean, with a portfolio of iconic, world-class brands and compelling opportunities for investment and profit growth; and

  • "Plant Co.", with about $340 million* in net sales, will be a leading, profitable, pure-play plant-based foods company, anchored by the MorningStar Farms brand, with a significant opportunity to capitalize on strong long-term category prospects by investing further in North America penetration and future international expansion.

"Kellogg has been on a successful journey of transformation to enhance performance and increase long-term shareowner value. This has included re-shaping our portfolio, and today's announcement is the next step in that transformation," said Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company's chairman and chief executive officer. "These businesses all have significant standalone potential, and an enhanced focus will enable them to better direct their resources toward their distinct strategic priorities. In turn, each business is expected to create more value for all stakeholders, and each is well positioned to build a new era of innovation and growth."

Strategic Rationale

In recent years, the company has transformed its portfolio into one that has expanded geographically and shifted toward growing businesses, particularly in snacking categories. To achieve this, it has directed resources and investments toward growth categories and markets around the world, made several acquisitions and partnerships in emerging markets, and strengthened its snacks business through acquisitions, divestitures, and the freeing up of resources by exiting from direct-store delivery. The successful execution of these actions has expanded Kellogg's portfolio, resulting in a scaled global snacking business and significant emerging markets presence, complemented by strong and profitable breakfast and plant-based foods businesses. The outcome of these strategic actions has been improved growth in recent years, with momentum sustained into 2022.

After several years of transformation and improving results, the Company believes it is the right time to separate these businesses so they may pursue their particular strategic priorities.

As independent companies, all three businesses will be better positioned to:

  • Focus on their distinct strategic priorities, with financial targets that best fit their own markets and opportunities;

  • Execute with increased agility and operational flexibility, enabling more focused allocation of capital and resources in a manner consistent with those strategic priorities;

  • Realize improved outlooks for profitable growth; and

  • Shape distinctive corporate cultures, rooted in Kellogg Company's strong values, and rewarding career paths for employees of each company.

The three companies, discussed under temporary names, will be:

Global Snacking Co.

The planned separations will result in a Global Snacking Co. that is expected to enhance its leadership position in the global snacking, international cereal and noodles, and North America frozen breakfast categories, by focusing investments and capital toward building upon its strong growth momentum and profitability.

Kellogg Company's three international regions – Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa ("AMEA") – will remain almost entirely intact within Global Snacking Co. Steve Cahillane will remain Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Snacking Co.

North America Cereal Co.

The Company plans to separate North America Cereal Co. as an independent business through a tax-free spin-off. North America Cereal Co. is a leader in cereal in the US, Canada, and Caribbean, with beloved brands, a heritage of innovation, and more than a century of operational success. As a standalone company, North America Cereal Co. will have greater strategic focus and operational flexibility, and will direct capital and resources toward unlocking growth, regaining category share, and restoring and expanding profit margins.

The proposed management team for North America Cereal Co. will be announced at a later date.

Plant Co.

The Company intends to separate Plant Co. as an independent business through a tax-free spin-off, while also exploring other strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.

Anchored by the leading MorningStar Farms brand, Plant Co. will be a profitable, pure-play, plant-based foods company. This business offers a full portfolio of plant-based offerings across multiple product segments and eating occasions. Kellogg has grown MorningStar Farms steadily since its acquisition over 20 years ago, and the brand now has the highest share and household penetration in the frozen vegetarian/vegan category.

The proposed management team for Plant Co. will be announced at a later date.

* All net sales and adjusted-basis EBITDA figures are based on the Company's 2021 unaudited results derived from internal management reporting, further adjusted for splits by brands and markets, as well as preliminary cost and expense allocations, including corporate expenses; these figures will be refined prior to the transactions. Please refer to the reconciliations of adjusted-basis EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, to reported operating profit in this press release.

Headquarters Locations

North America Cereal Co. and Plant Co. will both remain headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan. Global Snacking Co. will maintain dual campuses in Battle Creek and Chicago, Illinois, with its corporate headquarters located in Chicago. Kellogg Company's three international regions' headquarters in Europe, Latin America, and AMEA will remain in their current locations.

Transaction Details, Timing, and Future Updates

The proposed spin-offs are intended to result in tax-free distributions of North America Cereal Co. and Plant Co. shares to Kellogg Company shareowners. Shareowners would receive shares in the two spin-off entities on a pro-rata basis relative to their Kellogg holdings at the record date for each spin-off.

Capital structures, dividends, governance, and other matters for each business will be announced at a later date. Management is committed to maintaining an investment-grade credit rating for Global Snacking Co. after the separations. In addition, the Company expects to maintain a strong aggregate dividend and return-on-capital profile across the three businesses. The independent dividend and capital structure policies for each business are expected to be competitive relative to their relevant peer sets.

The Company will begin incurring pretax expenses related to executing the transactions and setting up the companies. To ensure visibility into the ongoing results of the businesses, the Company will disclose these up-front costs and exclude them from its adjusted-basis results in its external reporting.

Goldman Sachs is serving as lead financial advisor, along with Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor.

The Company will provide updates throughout the process leading to the transactions. A dedicated website providing ongoing information about the transaction is available at unleashingourpotential.com.

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