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ConAgra’s Cheap Stock May Become Activist Snack: Real M&A

When your biggest acquisition fails to create value and your stock is cheap, brace for an activist.

It’s been a year and a half since ConAgra Foods Inc. completed its $6.7 billion takeover of Ralcorp Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Gary Rodkin predicted “significant value creation.” Instead, Ralcorp contributed to a $681 million writedown and ConAgra’s shares are trading at pre-deal levels. The maker of Chef Boyardee is now valued at a 36 percent discount to its peer group and is the worst performing food-products maker in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.