Tyson sells Kettle, still seeks to sell other businesses

Tyson Foods’ effort to sell its non-protein businesses has progressed with the divestiture of Kettle, but other businesses remain to be sold.

Roy Graber Headshot
Photo courtesy of Tyson Foods
Photo courtesy of Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods’ effort to sell its non-protein businesses has progressed with the divestiture of Kettle, but other non-protein businesses remain to be sold.

Tyson Foods had earlier stated its desire to sell some of its assets so it can concentrate on protein-based businesses. During the company’s earnings call for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, held in August 2017, Tyson Foods Chief Financial Officer Dennis Leatherby stated that the company hoped to sell Kettle, Sara Lee and Van’s before the end of the 2017 calendar year.

However, as Tyson Foods released its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 on February 8, it was revealed that only one of those businesses had been sold on December 31, 2017.

The company announced that it had sold Kettle, a maker of sauces, dips, soups and side dishes, for $125 million, but did not disclose the identity of the buyer. The proceeds from that sale will be used to pay down debt, Tyson Foods stated.

Meanwhile, the Sara Lee and Van’s businesses remain for sale, as well as another “relatively small non-protein business.” Sara Lee specializes in frozen desserts, while Van’s is a maker of waffles and other grain-based breakfast foods.

All four of those businesses had been part of Tyson Foods’ Prepared Foods’ segment.

In a press release issued that included the most recent quarter, Tyson Foods said that it anticipates it will close on the sales of the three remaining non-protein businesses during the back half of fiscal year 2018. The fiscal year will conclude at the end of September.

Chief financial officer transition

The release of the financial results for the second quarter was the last one for Leatherby as CFO. He retired from the company on February 10. Stewart F. Glendinning has been named his successor. Glendinning has been employed by Tyson Foods since mid-December, working with Leatherby to make the transition go more smoothly.  

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