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Rick Bayless sells Frontera Foods to ConAgra

Chef Rick Bayless | Sun-Times file photo

Chicago chef Rick Bayless has sold the packaged foods businesses of Frontera Foods Inc. to ConAgra Foods Inc.

ConAgra, which recently moved its headquarters to Chicago, is also buying the Frontera, Red Fork and Salpica brands of gourmet Mexican foods and American cooking sauces. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are excited to add the Frontera, Red Fork and Salpica brands to our portfolio. In particular, the Frontera brand is a preeminent gourmet Mexican food brand in North America. We believe it provides a tremendous platform off which we can build,” Sean Connolly, president and CEO of ConAgra Foods, said in a news release.

Bayless’ restaurants, including Frontera-branded restaurants, are not part of the deal.

Bayless and Fontera Foods CEO Manny Valdes will continue to actively support the packaged-foods business, ConAgra said.

“In ConAgra, we’ve found people who respect our integrity and uncompromising standards,” Bayless said in a release. “We will continue to make high-quality food with the same standards of excellence and operate with the same values and fresh ingredients that have helped the business to become the premium brands they are today. This is the start of a new era for Frontera, Salpica and Red Fork, and we are thrilled.”