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Aurora Foods plans to merge with Pinnacle

Aurora Foods Inc, a St Louis Mo producer and marketer of frozen food brands, will undertake a restructuring in which it will be combined with Pinnacle Foods Holding Corp.

To achieve this, Aurora has entered into a definitive agreement with Crunch Equity Holding LLC, a company owned by JP Morgan Partners LLC, J W Childs Equity Partners III LP, and C Dean Metropoulos and Co. Upon completion of the merger, C Dean Metropoulos, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined Pinnacle/Aurora business.

This restructuring has received the support of AuroraÕs senior lenders. An informal committee of bondholders representing about $202.7 million of AuroraÕs $400 million in senior subordinated notes participated in negotiating the transaction.

The merger of Pinnacle and Aurora is subject to completion of due diligence investigations of Pinnacle. Upon approval of the definitive agreement, AuroraÕs previous agreement with J W Childs will be terminated.

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