Procter & Gamble Co. has decided it will seek to terminate its sale of the Pringles snack business to Diamond Foods Inc., said three people with knowledge of the situation, following the accounting probe that ousted Diamond’s chief executive officer.
P&G, which agreed in April 2011 to sell Pringles to Diamond for $1.5 billion, must now determine how to exit the deal and whether Diamond will resist the breakup, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the matter is private. If the sale were to proceed, P&G shareholders would own a majority of Diamond’s stock, which fell 37 percent yesterday.
Ending the agreement may leave P&G searching for a new buyer for Pringles, known for stackable chips in flavors from loaded baked potato in the U.S. to green seaweed in China.
Divesting Pringles would get P&G, the world’s largest consumer-products company, out of the food business.