Oberto Brands sold, will keep HQ in Kent

Oberto Brands announced Thursday (April 12) that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of the assets and operating divisions of the company to Premium Brands Holdings.

The transaction is expected to close within the next four to six weeks, subject to customary closing conditions, and will enable Oberto to continue growing in the future.

The 100-year-old, family-owned company will retain its headquarters in Kent.

Founded in 1918, Oberto is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of beef jerky and other protein-based snack foods and is headquartered in Kent, Washington. The family-owned company employs close to 500 people and has a proud legacy of commitment to the community. Its brands include Oberto, Pacific Gold, Pacific Gold Reserve, Lowrey’s and Cattleman’s Cut.

According to its website, Premium Brands owns a broad range of leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and in Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, and Washington. The Company services over 22,000 customers, and its family of brands and businesses.

“We are very proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved over the past 100 years as a family owned and operated business. Transitions are always difficult, but we are confident this transaction will best position Oberto for future success,” said Art Oberto, Chairman Emeritus of Oberto. “In Premium Brands, we have found a partner that will not only honor the traditions, values and people that are at the heart of Oberto’s success, but also one that shares our vision for the future. They are the right partner to take us forward and strengthen the legacy built by our family.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Oberto Brands into our group,” said George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands. “Oberto’s values, culture, loyal employees and talented management team are an ideal fit for us. Furthermore, we are very excited about being entrusted with growing the iconic Oberto brand, which we have followed and admired for many years.”

“We are extremely proud of Oberto, its employees and the generations of family members that have contributed to such an iconic and successful business,” said Tom Hernquist, President & CEO of Oberto. “We are thrilled to be joining Premium Brands. Its entrepreneurial culture and respect for the uniqueness of its individual businesses, combined with its focus on quality, innovation and long-term decision-making are perfect fits for our business.”

“While Oberto has been very successful as an independent, family-owned business for over 100 years, the marriage with Premium Brands will greatly enhance our ability to grow and thrive for the next 100 years,” added Mr. Hernquist. “Premium Brands has a sterling track record of nurturing and growing family-owned businesses with their extensive meat expertise, capital investment philosophy, procurement and distribution platforms and an operating model focused on supporting and developing each operating business.”

“This transaction will create a leading North American platform in the rapidly growing meat snacks product category and will feature Canada’s leading McSweeney’s, Grimm’s, Freybe, Piller’s and Harvest brands, Oberto’s iconic family of leading brands and our fast-emerging, U.S.-based Hempler’s brand,” continued Mr. Paleologou. “I have no doubt that both Oberto and our legacy businesses will benefit from each other’s respective strengths. Oberto will be our third major investment in Washington State. Our two prior investments in sandwich maker SK Food Group and premium processed meats producer Hempler Foods Group, have both been very successful under the Premium Brands umbrella with their combined sales growing from under $130 million in 2011 to over $560 million last year. We fully expect Oberto to replicate this type of success by combining its current strengths with access to our diverse and deep resources.”

Oberto was advised by Cody Peak Advisors and Perkins Coie LLP in the transaction.

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