Bonduelle has agreed to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the US producer of convenience fresh meal solutions, salads and fresh cut produce.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of March 2017 following routine regulatory reviews and approvals. Upon closing, Bonduelle will acquire 100% of the common stock of Ready Pac Foods and plans to run the business as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
The acquisition will help fuel the growth of both companies in the fresh food space. Bonduelle will expand its fresh business, one of the fastest growing categories in vegetables, to the US, a market in which it has limited presence.
The move will make the US the largest country of operation for Bonduelle. Ready Pac Foods will benefit from a greater level of investment in its growth, innovation and global reach. In addition to shared business goals, the companies also share strong cultural ties including corporate social responsibility and key core values.
Bonduelle chairman and CEO Christophe Bonduelle said: "We were impressed with the strength of Ready Pac Foods operational excellence, commitment to innovation, and talented management team.
"Our interest in Ready Pac Foods was not only because of its attractive product segment and rapid growth, but the value the company delivers to their customers and their committed workforce."
Ready Pac Foods and Bonduelle share a common purpose – to help people live healthier lives through innovative fresh food products. Ready Pac Foods' portfolio of products complements existing Bonduelle products throughout the world.
Bonduelle's leadership and expertise in agro-industry, along with its global presence and knowledge, will help Ready Pac Foods grow to its full potential and beyond.
Ready Pac Foods CEO Tony Sarsam said: "Ready Pac Foods has seen significant growth over the last several years and joining forces with Bonduelle validates our current business approach.
"This is a fantastic new chapter for our 3,500 Associates and a great step forward. We are thrilled with this investment in our company strategy, and know Ready Pac Foods is going to be right at home with the Bonduelle family of companies."
Sarsam, who joined Ready Pac Foods in 2013, led the company to significant growth and profitability through his focus on expanding fresh prepared meals and driving operational excellence. Upon closing, Sarsam will continue to lead Ready Pac Foods, reporting directly to Christophe Bonduelle. There will be no changes to Ready Pac Foods leadership team.
During its nearly 50-year history, Ready Pac Foods has earned the reputation as a pioneer and leader in the fresh food industry, introducing many firsts in innovation. These include bringing European lettuce blends to the US market, developing the "pillow pack" to maintain peak freshness, and inventing the triple wash system which is the industry standard today.
Ready Pac Foods introduced the first-ever single-serve, complete meal salad, the original Bistro Bowl, thereby creating the category, making the company the No. 1 market share leader today.
Bonduelle, with more than $2bn in revenue, is a well-respected, family-owned company, with seven generations of the Bonduelle family involved since its founding in 1853. The French company owns four brands of canned, frozen and fresh vegetables with presence in 100 countries around the world.