NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Del Monte Foods, the consumer and pet food company, agreed to be bought by an investor group for $4 billion, the company announced Friday.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners will pay a premium price of $19 per share for the San Francisco-based company. The deal, which includes $1.3 billion in Del Monte's net debt, is valued at about $5.3 billion.
Del Monte (DLM) shares rose 4% to $18.75 on Friday after closing at $17.99 on Wednesday. U.S. financial markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Under the terms of the deal, Del Monte is allowed to solicit alternative proposals through Jan. 8, 2011. The company said it will "actively" seek other suitors, but if no "superior offer" is found the deal announced Friday is expected to close by the end of March.
"This transaction will enable our Company to continue to successfully grow, building on the foundation our team has put into place," Richard Wolford, chief executive of Del Monte Foods, said in a statement.
Del Monte, which had sales of $3.7 billion in fiscal 2010, produces and distributes food under its own name and others, including S&W, Contadina and College Inn. It also has a large portfolio of pet foods such as Meow Mix, Kibbles 'n Bits and Milk-Bone.
Simon Brown, a member of KKR's consumer group, said in a statement that the firm looks forward to continuing Del Monte's "proven strategy for growth."
Walmart settled with comedian Tracy Morgan over a crash that left him seriously injured. A Walmart truck rear-ended a limo bus Morgan was riding in on the New Jersey Turnpike nearly a year ago. More
Workers with college and graduate school degrees saw their wages fall the most last year. The least educated saw a slight bump in pay. More
Apple's new "CarPlay" system, which allows drivers to use iPhones behind the wheel, is raising concerns among auto safety experts. More
Hong Kong's week-long Bun Festival means booming business for local bakery Kwok Kam Kee, which has produced the holiday's delicious highlight for decades. More