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B&G Foods acquires Rickland Orchard for $57.5M

PARISPPANY, N.J. (AP) -- B&G Foods Inc. said Monday that it has acquired Rickland Orchards LLC, which makes Greek yogurt-coated granola bars and bites, for $57.5 million. It's the food maker's fourth acquisition over the past year.

B&G Foods, based in Parisppany, N.J., also owns brands such as Cream of Wheat, Don Pepino and Ortega.

The company is buying Rickland from Natural Instincts LLC, a privately held company. B&G paid $37.4 million in cash and $20.1 million in stock. There may be additional payments if certain performance goals are achieved.

B&G said that Rickland, which was launched in March 2012, has generated more than $50 million in annual revenue.

Greek yogurt has grown in popularity in recent years. It has more protein and lower sugar than traditional yogurt varieties. A number of food companies and retailers have scrambled to get a Greek yogurt product into their lineup.

Jason Cohen, the founder and CEO of Rickland, will join B&G Foods as executive vice president of the club channel.

Shares of B&G fell 24 cents to close at $34.91. Its shares were unchanged in after-hours trading.