Del Monte Foods agreed last quarter to a sale valued around $4 billion to a KKR-led group.
Around the world, the brand Del Monte is in multiple hands, it is pure chaos.
Del Monte Foods only owns the rights to the name for packaged foods in the U.S. and South America, like canned corn and green beans.
All the other “Del Monte” foods are owned by somebody else. For example:
Fresh Del Monte, has a license to use the brand name on fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, and prepared foods in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Del Monte peaches or creamed corn in Canada you’re buying from CanGro Foods Inc.
Kikkoman Corp. uses the name “Del Monte” in Asia and the South Pacific, but not in the Philippines or India.
Some processed foods and drinks named “Del Monte” in Mexico are made by ConAgra Foods Inc.
PVF Operating Co. LLC is allowed to call its dried fruits and nuts “Del Monte” in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
And instead of one leading the brand, Del Monte Foods explains that it is NOT affiliated with any of these other Del Monte companies.
The brand chaos can be pinned on KKR. Del Monte traces its roots back to the late 19th century. It was scooped up as part of KKR’s massive 1989 buyout of RJR Nabisco, which owned Del Monte.
KKR sloughed off the Del Monte food divisions separately starting around 1990. Now they can try to re-assemble the brand.