Pinnacle Foods Files to Raise Up to $580 Million in IPO

Pinnacle Foods Inc., the Blackstone Group LP-owned maker of Hungry-Man dinners and Birds Eye frozen vegetables, filed to raise as much as $580 million in a U.S. initial public offering.

About 29 million shares will be offered at $18 to $20 each, the Parsippany, New Jersey-based company said in a regulatory filing today. The amount is equivalent to a 26 percent stake, the filing shows.

Pinnacle, led by Chief Executive Officer Robert Gamgort, is selling shares after last year delaying an IPO because of slumping consumer sentiment, people familiar with the situation said at the time. Rivals including ConAgra Foods Inc. have boosted profit by raising prices and increasing marketing.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jorge Paulo Lemann’s 3G Capital last month agreed to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for about $23 billion in the largest deal ever in the food industry. The iconic Pittsburgh-based ketchup maker has boosted sales in emerging markets led by Latin America, Indonesia and China.

Blackstone bought Pinnacle for $2.2 billion about six years ago and later combined the company with Birds Eye Foods Inc. with a $1.3 billion acquisition. Blackstone isn’t offering shares in the sale.

Pinnacle, which generated about $2.5 billion in sales last year, would have a market value of about $2.1 billion at the midpoint of the IPO range. The value at midpoint is about 0.9 times sales in the 12 months ended Dec. 30 and 7.6 times earnings before interest and taxes in the period. The shares are scheduled to price March 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp. are leading the offering for the company, which plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PF.