Grand Met’s Acquisition Of Pillsbury Complete; Martin Named CEO
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Britain’s Grand Metropolitan PLC on Tuesday completed its $5.7 billion acquisition of Pillsbury Co. and named Ian Martin chairman and chief executive officer of the food and restaurant company.
Martin, who since 1986 has headed Grand Met’s U.S. operations, replaces Philip L. Smith, who has resigned from Pillsbury after joining the company in August.
With the completion the deal, Pillsbury becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan PLC, a distilling, gambling and specialty products conglomerate. Martin will move to Minneapolis, where Pillsbury will keep its downtown headquarters, according to a statement from the British company.
Grand Met on Oct. 4 launched a hostile $60-a-share tender offer for Pillsbury, which resisted the buyout bid. The company’s board of directors also rebuffed a sweetened $63-a-share tender offer from Grand Met and in December negotiated a friendly deal for $66 a share, all cash.
Martin is a director of Grand Met. Besides Pillsbury and its Burger King subsidiary, Martin is responsible for Grand Met’s Express Foods Group International of London and Alpo Petfoods of Allentown, Pa., the company said.
Martin joined Grand Met in 1979 and was chairman of the company’s brewing and retailing division. He previously held executive positions with the Timex Corp., PA Management Consultants and ITT in the United States, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.
Smith was wooed to Pillsbury from the top post at General Foods Corp. He departs Pillsbury with an executive compensation package valued at nearly $8 million.