INDIANAPOLIS – Without Clabber Girl Baking Power making the Hulman family of Terre Haute, Indiana, into one of the wealthiest families in Indiana in the late 1800s and throughout the 20th century, there probably wouldn’t be an Indianapolis 500 in existence today.
That is why Wednesday morning’s news that Hulman & Company was selling Clabber Girl to B&G Foods of Parsippany, New Jersey, was important.
The Clabber Girl brand allowed Tony Hulman to purchase the dilapidated and shuttered Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Eddie Rickenbacker in November 1945 and build the Indianapolis 500 into the world’s largest single-day sporting event beginning in 1946.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 and began hosting the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1911. With the exception of skipping a year during World War I, it ran every Memorial Day until World War II shut down the facility from 1942-45.
“The Hulman-George family takes great pride in the Clabber Girl brand’s success, history and critical role in the development and rich cultural fabric of Terre Haute,” Hulman & Company chairman Anton Hulman “Tony” George said. “Clabber Girl will always be a cherished and celebrated part of our legacy, and we’re excited we’ve found a strong steward for its very bright future.”
B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE: BGS), is a leading manufacturer, seller and distributor of shelf-stable and frozen foods across North America.
“Our core focus is the pursuit of world-class motorsports competition and entertainment,” Hulman & Company president and CEO Mark Miles said. “This decision positions us to fully focus on the continued direction and growth of INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions. It also provides Clabber Girl with a well-prepared owner ready to use its vast expertise and considerable resources to accelerate the growth of the newest member of its impressive portfolio.”
Like Clabber Girl, B&G Foods has spent more than a century in the food business. The company maintains more than 50 brands and 2,500 employees across North America. This includes Ortega, Green Giant, Cream of Wheat, Mrs. Dash, Back to Nature and many others.
“We are excited to join the B&G Foods family as we add our iconic Clabber Girl brand to its impressive portfolio of brands consumers both recognize and trust,” Clabber Girl president and COO Gary Morris said. “Clabber Girl will benefit from the knowledge and reach B&G Foods will provide as a seasoned food manufacturer and distributor. Together, we will continue to grow this historic business.”
Guggenheim Securities, LLC acted as Hulman & Company’s financial advisor for this transaction.