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General Mills History

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction

A. History of General Mills


The company, General Mills, for which I was assigned, proved to be a worthwhile investment researching since it contains a large portion of the market share of its "niche," that being breakfast cereals and the like. In conducting the research necessary to find out if a potential investor might strike interest upon General Mills, we find out a myriad of things. By drawing our attention towards the spreadsheet, which contains the bits of information we need to infer conclusions, we can see the patterns that develop over a 5 or 10 year period involving such things as: stock price, EPS, ROI, and many others. The following will give some insight into the history of General Mills among other things.

Tracing its history back to 1866, General Mills is one of America's largest food companies, employing 10,000 people worldwide and generating over $5 billion in sales annually. Responsible for some of America's best-known foods, General Mills manufactures and distributes such staples as Betty Crocker cake mix, Gold Medal flour, Bisquick pancake mix, Yoplait yogurt, and Popsecret popcorn. The company also manufactures breakfast cereals, including Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms, and Cocoa Puffs. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol GIS. General Mills's original name was the Washburn Crosby Company, which created legendary Twin Cities broadcaster WCCO. The founders of the Washburn Crosby Company included Congressman Cadwallader Colden Washburn.

In 1990, General Mills and NestlÐ"© started a 50/50 joint venture called Cereal Partners Worldwide to market breakfast cereals for both the United States and Europe. CPW distributes cereals manufactured by both companies under the NestlÐ"© brand name. Just prior to that, in 1988, General Mills sold General Mills Specialty Retail Group, which was the parent company of both Eddie Bauer and Talbots. Eddie Bauer is now defunct.

The company merged with Pillsbury in 2001. While many of the Pillsbury-branded products are still manufactured by General Mills, some products had to be sold off to allow the merger since the new company would have held a very strong monopoly position. Some products carrying



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