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International Multifoods Corp. can use the Pillsbury and Doughboy trademarks royalty-free in desserts and baking mixes it is purchasing from General Mills Inc. under an amended purchase agreement, it said Oct. 25. The licenses are renewable without cost in 20-year increments at Multifoods’ discretion. Minnetonka, Minn.-based Multifoods also gets five additional brands with total revenues of $50 million, including Pet evaporated milk. The other brands are Farmhouse foods, Softasilk flour, La Pina and Red House flour brands. In a statement, Federal Trade Commission Commissioners Orson Swindle and Thomas Leary, who voted against a legal challenge to the General Mills-Pillsbury deal, said, “The license involved here will grant broad discretion to Multifoods in its use of the marks, subject only to the minimum obligations imposed by trademark law, and will provide for third-party arbitration of disputes, in order to avoid ongoing business obligations between General Mills and Multifoods.” The amendments are designed to “address Federal Trade Commission antitrust concerns,” Multifoods said in a statement. The maker of flour and food service products had agreed to acquire Pillsbury’s baking mixes and some other food brands for $305 million in a deal announced in February. The FTC was deadlocked in a vote Wednesday on whether to block General Mills’ $10.5 billion deal to acquire Pillsbury from Diageo in court, effectively allowing it to go ahead. General Mills sold the baking mixes to Multifoods to gain FTC approval to buy Pillsbury, but has been waiting for approval since February. Multifoods said, “We look forward to completing the transaction as soon as possible,” but didn’t say when the deal is expected to close. A General Mills spokesman declined to comment on the changes to the agreement with Multifoods. Multifoods did not return calls for comment. Copyright (c)2001 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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