B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS, BGF), a manufacturer and distributor of high quality, shelf-stable foods, announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share of Class A common stock, payable on January 30, 2009 to holders of record as of December 31, 2008.
Cash payments to holders of the Company’s Enhanced Income Securities (EISs), which will include the quarterly cash dividend payment of $0.17 per share on the underlying Class A common stock and an interest payment of $0.2145 per EIS on the underlying 12% senior subordinated notes to holders of record as of December 31, 2008, will aggregate $0.3845 per EIS.
David L. Wenner, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&G Foods, stated, “Due to widespread speculation in the market regarding our next quarterly dividend, our Board of Directors has decided to declare the dividend a few weeks ahead of our normal quarterly declaration date. The $0.17 per share dividend that the Board of Directors declared today is approximately 20% lower than our prior dividend rate. The prior dividend rate resulted in substantially all of our excess cash being paid out in dividends. The new dividend rate, while still paying out the greater majority of our excess cash to stockholders, provides for a portion of our excess cash to be retained in our business for working capital, acquisitions and other business needs that may arise.”
Mr. Wenner continued, “We hope that our stockholders will view the new dividend rate as sustainable in the long term, and consistent with the Company’s desire to provide stockholders with an attractive and reliable return on their investment.”
Although the Board of Directors has reduced the dividend rate under the Company’s dividend policy, the Board of Directors has reaffirmed the policy itself. The Company’s dividend policy reflects a basic judgment that its stockholders would be better served if the Company distributes a substantial portion of its cash available to pay dividends to them instead of retaining it in the business. Under this policy, a substantial portion of the cash generated by the Company in excess of operating needs, interest and principal payments on indebtedness, capital expenditures sufficient to maintain its properties and other assets is in general distributed as regular quarterly cash dividends (up to the intended dividend rate as determined by the Board of Directors) to the holders of the Class A common stock and not retained by the Company. With today’s action, the new intended dividend rate for the Class A common stock is $0.68 per share per annum.
About B&G Foods, Inc.
B&G Foods and its subsidiaries manufacture, sell and distribute a diversified portfolio of high-quality, shelf-stable foods across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. B&G Foods’ products include hot cereals, fruit spreads, canned meats and beans, spices, seasonings, marinades, hot sauces, wine vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, salad dressings, Mexican-style sauces, taco shells and kits, salsas, pickles, peppers and other specialty food products. B&G Foods competes in the retail grocery, food service, specialty, private label, club and mass merchandiser channels of distribution. Based in Parsippany, New Jersey, B&G Foods’ products are marketed under many recognized brands, including Ac’cent, B&G, B&M, Brer Rabbit, Cream of Rice, Cream of Wheat, Emeril’s, Grandma’s Molasses, Joan of Arc, Las Palmas, Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, Ortega, Polaner, Red Devil, Regina, Sa-són, Trappey’s, Underwood, Vermont Maid and Wright’s.
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical or current fact constitute “forward-looking statements.” The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include without limitation statements related to our beliefs as to the sustainability of the dividend. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other unknown factors that could cause the actual results of B&G Foods to be materially different from the historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties readers are urged to consider statements labeled with the terms “believes,”“belief,” “expects,”“intends,” “anticipates” or “plans” to be uncertain and forward-looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in B&G Foods’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2007 filed on March 6, 2008.We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Don Duffy, 866-211-8151
John Flanagan, 203-682-8222