By THE NATION
The transaction brings together one of America’s largest and fastest-growing frozen-food companies with Thailand’s leading integrated foods business.
Bellisio produces and distributes single-serve frozen entrees under the Michelina’s, Atkins, Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell, and Eat! brands, as well as co-manufacturing private label and food service products.
CPF is the leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific region. The company operates in both the livestock (swine, broilers, laying hens and ducks) and aquaculture (shrimp and fish) businesses.
The vertically integrated businesses incorporate the production of animal feed, animal breeding and animal farming; meat processing, both semi-cooked and fully cooked; and ready meal products. It also retails meats and other foods and supplies restaurants.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership with CPF and the potential it has to drive [the] next phase of significant growth for Bellisio,” said Joel Conner, chairman and chief executive of Bellisio. “CPF is a company with whom we share the same values and commitment to quality and innovation.”
Adirek Sripratak, CEO of CPF, said: “This transaction represents a breakthrough for CPF into the world’s largest food market and is a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming the ‘kitchen of the world’.
“Joel and his team have built Bellisio into a strong business with a number of respected brands. We are looking forward to working together to further grow and enhance Bellisio’s business.
“Through the partnership, we will gain access to the North American market, enabling us to create an enhanced offering for US consumers as well as generate greater value for shareholders.”
Bruce Pollack, managing partner of Centre Partners, said: “We are gratified with the tremendous results that Bellisio achieved over the last five years behind the management team led by Joel Conner. We believe |that CPF is an ideal partner for Bellisio as it enters its next phase of growth.”
The existing management team and wider employee base will remain in place after the shift in ownership. Bellisio said it would continue to be strongly committed to its existing customers and suppliers as well as Minneapolis, where it will continue to be headquartered, and all regions where it has operations.