Hormel agrees to buy organic and natural meat maker Applegate Farms
Hormel to Buy Organic and Natural Meat Maker Applegate Farms
Minneapolis — Hormel Foods has agreed to buy Applegate Farms, a leading organic and natural meat maker, for $775 million, its largest acquisition and a big play in the hot organic food market.
The buyout of Bridgefield, N.J.-based Applegate is also the latest of three major deals for Hormel over the past two years, as the packaged food company, based about 100 miles south of Minneapolis in Austin, Minn., looks to diversify.
“A growing number of consumers are choosing natural and organic products,” Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger, said in a statement. “This deal allows us to expand the breadth of our protein offerings to provide consumers with more choice.”
Privately held Applegate, founded in 1987 by its current CEO Stephen McDonnell, produces bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other natural and organic meat products. Applegate, partly owned by private equity outfit Swander Pace, reportedly put itself up for sale last winter, and Hormel has been rumored to be interested.
Applegate, which is expected to have $340 million in sales this year, will operate autonomously as a standalone subsidiary of Hormel’s refrigerated foods division.
Hormel’s roots are in making such pork products as bacon and ham, as well as canned grocery staples including Spam and Hormel Chili. The company is also the nation’s second largest turkey processor and owner of the Jennie-O brand.
Android Users Can Now Use Periscope
Two months after debuting on the iPhone, Twitter announced Tuesday that it’s finally making its live-video app, Periscope, available to Android users as well.
Android users have had to wait to get in on the live-streaming fun, but they’re getting something for their pains. For example, users who get interrupted mid-stream by a phone call or message can go back to watching right where they left off. Android users will also have more control over notifications from Periscope, such as being alerted when someone you follow on Twitter broadcasts for the first time, or when someone you follow shares a Periscope stream. People who create new streams can also save replays without having to upload a video file. These features are not available for iPhone users.
Twitter has been under intense pressure from its shareholders to post strong user growth and revenue numbers — goals that the company whiffed in its last earnings report, sending its stock down 28 percent last month and into a slump from which it has yet to recover.
Periscope was a bright spot in that earnings report, with the company saying the service acquired 1 million users within its first 10 days.
Iran Adjourns Reporter’s Trial; Unclear When It Will Resume
Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian went on trial on Tuesday on espionage and other charges in a closed Tehran courtroom more than 10 months after he was imprisoned, but the proceedings were adjourned without any indication of when they would resume.
The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Abolghassem Salavati, a judge known for draconian sentences, read the four-count indictment in a two-hour session in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.
The semiofficial Mehr News Agency said Rezaian roundly denied having done anything outside the normal activities of a news reporter.
“I am a journalist, and all of my activities have been conducted as a journalist, and all were legal,” Mehr quoted him as saying when the judge asked about his contacts with U.S. Consulate officials in Dubai, where Rezaian’s family said he was seeking a visa for his Iranian-born wife. It could not be determined from the Mehr account whether the news agency, which is affiliated with the government, had a reporter in the courtroom.
Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan, told the family that the trial would continue “at a later session,” according to Rezaian’s brother, Ali Rezaian. It was not clear whether another court date has been set or whether Ahsan was not permitted to say more. Under Iranian law, it is illegal to reveal details about a closed-door hearing.
Rezaian was born and raised in California, but he holds Iranian as well as U.S. citizenship. The government in Tehran does not recognize dual nationality and contends that Washington has no legal standing to press for his release.
Rezaian has been accused of espionage and propaganda against Iran. He faces four charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The Post has vigorously protested his detention.
— Wire reports