When the pantry or refrigerator is opened there might be at least one product from General Mills (GIS), maker of brands such as Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Green Giant (Zeidner, 2011). General Mills is the leading global producer of packaged consumer foods. They are engaged in the manufacture and marketing of branded foods sold through retail stores. The company manufactures its products in 15 countries and markets them in over 100 countries (General Mills.com). General Mills is a publicly traded company that has paid out dividends to its shareholders for the last 5 years. This paper will take a look at the company’s operations and financial information to determine if the business is a good investment for the novice investor.
History of General Mills
General Mills started with humble beginnings and can be traced to Minneapolis Milling Company, an organization founded in 1856 by Illinois Congressman Robert Smith. The company was a leasing agent that leased power rights to mills operating along Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. The business was acquired by Cadwallader C. Washburn who hired his brother, William to assist in the company's development. Between 1866 and 1874, the Washburn’s went into business for themselves and built two large mills Washburn "B" Mill and Washburn "A" Mill. As the business progressed the Washburn’s, in 1877 entered a partnership with John Crosby to form the Washburn-Crosby Company. The company continued to operate for nearly 90 years.
The Washburn-Crosby company (WCCO) started venturing into other markets and in the 1920s, they took over a Twin Cities radio station and renamed it WCCO.
General Mills was created in 1928 when the President of Washburn-Crosby James Ford Bell instructed the company to merge with 26 other mills. He orchestrated a giant merger of the nation’s largest regional milling companies; the company came to be known as General Mills and it was the largest...