One of Langley's most visible and long-standing family-owned businesses has been sold for $55 million.
Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, a producer, marketer, and distributor of branded specialty food products, announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd.
Freybe is one of western Canada's leading manufacturers of premium gourmet deli meats, with annual sales of $78 million and a state-of-the-art 118,000square-foot production facility in Langley.
It is currently owned and operated by the Freybe family, who founded it in 1844.
"This transaction provides us with another leading specialty food company that further enhances the depth and strength of our deli meats business platform," said Premium Brands president George Paleologou.
Paleologou said he sees the purchase as an opportunity to help Freybe grow "by leveraging both our deli meat platform's sales and marketing infrastructure as well as our proprietary distribution networks."
He pointed to Freybe's "significant unutilized capacity" in its "modern production facility" as an opportunity to move Premium's current deli meat production from its Richmond facility which is scheduled to be shut down later this year.
"By transferring a significant portion of the Richmond plant's production to Freybe's nearby Langley facility, instead of our production facilities in eastern Canada," Paleologou explained, "we will gain significant cost and freight synergies."
Premium also plans to use Freybe's Langley production plant to support growth in the U.S. through its Hempler Foods Group based in Ferndale, Wash.
Hempler has been growing at an average compounded rate of almost 17 per cent over the past three years.
Paleologou added that he welcomed Freybe president Sven Freybe and his management team to Premium Brands.
"We have known and respected them for many years, and are looking forward to working with them," Paleologou said. "Their talents will further strengthen our management team."
For his part, Sven Freybe said his family chose to partner with Premium "based on their long history of respecting the unique entrepreneurial cultures of the businesses they invest in and their commitment to producing and selling only premium quality products."
"Our family is very proud of the business we have built over the last six generations," added Henning Freybe, retiring chairman of Freybe Gourmet Foods, "but we recognized we needed a partner to help Freybe in the next stage of its evolution."
The purchase is expected to close shortly, and is subject only to customary closing conditions.
Taluswood Capital Inc. acted as financial advisor to Freybe for the transaction.
@ Copyright 2013