OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. has purchased the Marie Callender's trademark for $57.5 million, the food maker announced Tuesday.
ConAgra said deal was effective last week, before the bankruptcy protection filing by Marie Callender's parent company Monday.
The packaged food maker has licensed the Marie Callender's name since 1994 for the frozen meals and pot pies it sells in stores. The company said buying the trademark from restaurant chain Marie Callender Pie Shops Inc. will give it greater control of the brand to increase sales.
The deal grants a license to the restaurant chain to continue using the brand.
Marie Callender's has grown to become ConAgra's second-largest retail brand with revenue of nearly $800 million annually. ConAgra acquired the license for frozen dessert pies held by American Pie LLC in 2010.
Restaurant chain owner Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday and said it would close 65 restaurants and cut 2,500 U.S. jobs in an effort to fix its business.
ConAgra said the bankruptcy filing would not interrupt the deal.
ConAgra, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the largest food makers in the U.S. with products such as Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Slim Jim and Hunt's. Shares of the company rose 10 cents to $24.41 in afternoon trading.