The Blackstone Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods Group Inc for approximately $2.16 billion in cash. Roger Deromedi, former chief executive officer of Kraft Foods Inc, will become chairman upon the closing of the transaction.

Pinnacle produces a number of consumer brands including Hungry Man and Swanson frozen dinners, Aunt Jemima breakfast foods, Celeste pizza, and Van de Kamp's and Mrs Paul's seafood. The firm employs more than 3,000 workers, owns seven manufacturing facilities in the United States, and generates about $2.1 billion in annual gross sales.

The company is jointly owned by affiliates of J P Morgan Partners LLC, by J W Childs Associates LP, by CDM Group, and by former bondholders of Aurora Foods Inc.

This transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions and is expected to close in the first half of 2007.