TreeHouse Foods, Oak Brook, IL, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Omaha, NE-based ConAgra Foods’ private brands operations. Annual sales of the combined entity will be nearly $7 billion. The transaction is valued at $2.7 billion, and closing is anticipated in the first quarter of 2016.

Acquisition of ConAgra’s private brands operations will expand TreeHouse’s presence in private label dry and refrigerated grocery. The private brands operations had sales of approximately $3.6 billion for the 12 months ended May 31, 2015. Following the acquisition, TreeHouse will have pro forma sales of nearly $7 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $690 million. Upon closing, TreeHouse will have more than 50 manufacturing facilities and more than 16,000 employees.

“Since our founding 10 years ago, our strategy has been to drive shareholder value by consolidating supply of private label brands,” says Sam K. Reed, chairman and CEO of TreeHouse Foods. “We offer our customers value without compromise through economies of scale, quality products and superior customer service. The union of TreeHouse and ConAgra’s private brands business establishes an industry leader in customer brands and custom products with significant scale, scope and skill, and enables us to extend our reach in the grocery store by over 10 shelf-stable and refrigerated food categories. Importantly, the combination will also strengthen our ability to support our customers’ efforts to build their corporate brands and offer consumers the best combination of choice and value.”

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods and other customary closing conditions.