A well-known MN generic cereal company is 'bagged' for $1 billion bucks

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A 95-year-old privately-held Minnesota cereal company will be purchased by Post Holdings for $1.15 billion.

The Associated Press reports Post will buy MOM Brands Co., the maker of Malt-O-Meal cereals and a wide variety of bagged ready-to-eat cold cereals. That includes varieties such as Golden Puffs, Frosted Mini Spooners and Cinnamon Toasters. The company is based in Lakeville, Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports the deal will bring together the nation’s third- and fourth- largest breakfast cereal makers.

MOM Brands has grown steadily over the past 15 years, and is a strong player in the low-price segment of the cold cereal business, which the Star Tribune describes as "basically knockoffs of established brands."

This is the second major Minnesota deal for Post Holdings in the past year. Last April, it announced the $2.45 billion purchase of Minnetonka-basd Michael Foods, which holds a large share of the liquefied and processed egg business.

MOM Brands' deep roots in Minnesota

In 2006, the Northfield News reported on a presentation from the Northfield Historical Society called, "The History of Malt-O-Meal."

A former senior vice president, Donavon Pautzke, told a local crowd about how John Campbell – a World War 1 veteran and graduate of Macalester College – invested $800 in a former creamery in Owatonna in 1919 to develop an innovative hot cereal. He found a way to cook farina (often called cream of wheat) in just 3 minutes. Previously, it had taken a half-hour.

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By 1927, the company outgrew its original facility and moved to Northfield, where it has remained and is a major employer in the historic city. In 1965 the company bought puffing equipment to allow it to produce and package breakfast cereals, which became the core of its business.

It's name changed to MOM Brands and later moved its headquarters to Lakeville.

MOM Brands is still owned by the descendants of founder John Campbell.

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