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Post Holdings, TreeHouse Foods scrap cereal business deal after FTC challenge

Post Holdings Inc. and TreeHouse Foods Inc. on Jan. 13 terminated a deal for the latter's ready-to-eat cereal business.

Post Holdings in May 2019 had agreed to acquire the business. The companies mutually agreed to scrap the proposed deal, TreeHouse Foods said in a Jan. 13 statement.

Post Holdings and TreeHouse originally expected to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2019. However, Post Holdings in July 2019 said the closing of the deal would be delayed after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission indicated that it was reviewing the deal in detail.

In December 2019, the FTC filed an administrative complaint challenging the proposed transaction. At the time, the FTC said the deal would harm competition.

TreeHouse on Jan. 13 said it will start remarketing the business for sale.

"After thoroughly evaluating our options and the potential outcomes, our board has determined that terminating the agreement with Post and immediately seeking another buyer for the business is the proper course forward. Unfortunately, the business risk, necessary resources and extent of time required to challenge the FTC's position was not in the best interest of our constituencies," Steve Oakland, CEO and President of TreeHouse Foods, said in a statement.

TreeHouse Foods acquired the ready-to-eat cereal business from Conagra Brands Inc., formerly ConAgra Foods Inc., in 2016.