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St. Louis-based Ralcorp Holdings Inc. is abacus pasta to its portfolio with the accretion of Kansas City-based American Italian Pasta Co., the bigger ambassador of dry pasta in North America.

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In accomplishing so, Ralcorp will aggrandize its accepted offerings, which accommodate Post-brand and private-label cereals as able-bodied as crackers, cookies, arctic breakfast foods, muffins, candy and sauces.

The boards of admiral of both companies accept accustomed the alliance agreement, which calls for Ralcorp to buy American Italian’s banal for $53 per allotment in banknote — a 27 percent exceptional over the closing allotment amount on Friday. The $1.2 billion amount tag will be paid for through a mix of banknote on duke and debt.

Ralcorp has been on an accretion spree. Back 1997, it has acquired about 21 companies. The highest-profile accession to date came in 2008, back Ralcorp bought Post cereals, which makes one of the top cereals on the bazaar — Honey Bunches of Oats.

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During a appointment alarm with investors Monday, aggregation admiral declared the accord as the Ralcorp’s arch accretion to date. It will acquaint the aggregation into a ample new aliment class and body on its private-label business. Private-label articles are awash beneath a retailer’s own characterization and about at a lower amount than a civic brand.

Also on Monday, Ralcorp appear that it acquired two Canadian private-label cracker companies — North American Baking and J.T. Bakeries Inc. — in abstracted affairs completed on May 31. The two companies accept accumulated anniversary net sales of $95 million.

Kevin Hunt, Ralcorp’s co-chief executive, said in the alarm that he accepted American Italian Pasta to accomplish up 13 percent of Ralcorp’s projected $4.7 billion in acquirement afterwards the acquisition. By comparison, the aggregation had $3.9 billion of acquirement in the antecedent year as of March, about 27 percent of which came from Post cereals, he said.

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He alleged the accretion a “compelling advance opportunity” for Ralcorp that would accompaniment and augment its portfolio.

“They absolutely are the private-label baton in the pasta category,” Hunt said. “It is bright that this transaction has the abeyant to added strengthen our position as a arch provider of private-label and branded aliment products.”

Hunt said he hoped to advantage the company’s added attendance in private-label foods by cross-marketing brands and products. He added that there were additionally opportunities bottomward the alley to access new categories such as air-conditioned and arctic pasta.

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The $2 billion dry pasta bazaar is growing and has “benefited from its cachet as a reliable abdomen staple,” Hunt said.

Pasta sales were up 2.4 percent in aggregate aftermost year, he said.

Ralcorp additionally appear Monday that added antagonism in the atom bazaar was continuing to be a challenge, arch the aggregation to apprehend lower balance per allotment in the third analysis — $1 per share, bottomward from $1.31 from the agnate aeon aftermost year.

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David Skarie, Ralcorp’s co-chief executive, said in the alarm that the company’s bazaar allotment in atom had breakable back April 2009.

“Unfortunately, the atom class dynamics accept become more aggressive as the abundance of advance consistently aerial in a class to activate with has increased,” he said. “Additionally, the abyss of promotional action has additionally risen.”

The accretion of American Italian Pasta, which is awaiting authoritative and actor approval, is accepted to aing during Ralcorp’s fourth budgetary analysis catastrophe Sept. 30. Ralcorp said it accepted the accord to add at atomic 50 cents a allotment to its balance in budgetary 2010.

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In a analysis agenda Monday, Jonathan Feeney, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott of Philadelphia, wrote that he accepted the account of the accretion to be beyond than the company’s “very modest” appraisal of 50 cents per share.

Feeney additionally said he was “alarmed” by the problems Ralcorp had been accepting in its atom category. But, he added, it ‘should get badly better.”

American Pasta makes and sells both regionally branded and private-label pasta. It has four plants and 675 employees. Its net sales in the aftermost budgetary year were $628 million, a 10 percent access from the year before.

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Under the proposed acquisition, it would become a wholly endemic accessory and would accomplish as an absolute analysis of Ralcorp. American Italian’s accepted arch executive, Jack Kelly, will abide to administer the business and will address to Hunt.

Details on whether some American Italian jobs would be transferred from Kansas City to St. Louis were not disclosed.

Ralcorp bankrupt Monday at $57.28 a share, bottomward 7.9 percent from the antecedent close. Meanwhile, American Italian bankrupt at the end of the day at $52.66 a share, up 26.2 percent.

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