Natural Foods Merchandiser

U.S. Mills sold to low-carb marketer

Sunset Brands, a Los Angeles-based holding company of nutritional foods, announced it has acquired U.S. Mills, known for such cereal brands as Uncle Sam, Erewhon, New Morning, Farina and Skinner's Raisin Bran. Sunset Brands produces Low Carb Creations, Bella Carb, Carb Ole and Sipper Sweets.

U.S. Mills, based in Needham, Mass., was founded in 1908 and has long been a favorite of consumers seeking kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free and other specialty diet-compatible organic foods.

Sunset announced in February its intent to acquire U.S. Mills. "This is a very exciting acquisition for Sunset Brands, giving us entrée into the natural and organic category with five well-respected and established brands," Sunset President and Chief Executive Todd Sanders said at the time. According to a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agreement called for Sunset to pay $17 million for U.S. Mills, minus the cost of the cereal company's debt. According to Sunset's Web site, U.S Mills revenue totaled $15.8 million in 2004.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Mills was unavailable for comment before press time.

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