McCain Foods Limited will acquire the production facilities and food service business of Anchor Food Products Inc. in a three-party transaction. H.J. Heinz Company will purchase the company's branded products sold to retail outlets, including supermarkets and club stores. The agreement to purchase was announced jointly on August 22 by McCain Foods Limited, the H.J. Heinz Company and Anchor Food Products Inc. Anchor, an American manufacturer of frozen appetizers, had sales of $503m (Euro551m) in 2000. The company produces specialty cheese appetisers, onion rings, stuffed jalapeno peppers, vegetable appetisers, and rolled and specialty appetisers. The transactions are subject to regulatory review, and are expected to close in the fall of this year. Specific terms of the agreement were not announced. The Canadian producer of French fries and pizzas McCain Foods Limited will acquire Anchor's food service business, its main production facility and headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, and its plants in Pecos, Texas, and Cuauhtemoc, Mexico. "The Anchor acquisition will make McCain Foods a major food service supplier of frozen appetizers in the U.S. market," McCain Foods Chairman Harrison McCain said. "Anchor's innovative sales and marketing expertise is a perfect fit with the international production leadership of McCain Foods." The American branded foods company H.J. Heinz Company will gain licensing rights to Anchor's T.G.I. Friday's brand and will acquire the Poppers brand of retail appetiser lines. Bill Raaths, president and CEO of Anchor will lead the appetiser business of McCain, reporting to Gilles Lessard, McCain Foods USA's chairman and CEO. "The three-party agreement is ideal," Raaths said. "McCain has a great track record internationally with world class manufacturing in the US, and Heinz has the resources to quickly expand the retail business. Both companies have worldwide reputations in the food business. We see this as a very positive step for both our customers and our employees." Since 1991, Anchor's sales have grown more than tenfold, from $47m (Euro51.5m) to $503m (Euro551m) in 2000. The company, under the private ownership of the Follett family, has added chain, retail, deli, club store and international business to its core food service accounts during the past decade. McCain Foods Limited has annual sales of more than C$5bn (Euro3.55bn) and manufacturing operations in 13 countries on five continents. H.J. Heinz Company has sales approaching $10bn (Euro11bn). Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries with over 20 brands.