General Mills to buy natural pet food company Blue Buffalo for about $8 billion in cash

General Mills is moving into the pet food business with a deal to buy Blue Buffalo Pet Products for roughly $ 8 billion in cash.

The deal values the natural pet food company at $ 40 a share.

General Mills said it expects to finance the transaction with debt and cash on hand, along with approximately $ 1 billion in equity. The company expects the deal to close by the end of 2018.

General Mills has been making acquisitions as growth in the food business becomes more challenging.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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