AdvancePierre Acquires Stuffed Sandwich Maker

CINCINNATI — AdvancePierre Foods will acquire the manufacturing assets of Better Bakery LLC, a Valencia, Calif.-based manufacturer of premium stuffed sandwiches. Production will relocate to AdvancePierre's Caseyville, Ill., facility.

The Caseyville location is a sandwich manufacturing operation that AdvancePierre purchased from Landshire Inc. in January, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Better Bakery produces licensed products such as Pretzel Melts, Skinny Melts and Breakfast Melts, along with its stuffed sandwich offerings. The acquisition will expand AdvancePierre's presence in on-trend, clean label products, as well as enable new distribution and market penetration with premium and natural food customers across the foodservice, retail and convenience channels, according to the announcement.

"We are eager to incorporate another high-growth, strategic acquisition into the AdvancePierre portfolio," stated AdvancePierre President and CEO John Simons. "Stuffed handheld sandwiches are the largest category in the frozen sandwich market, and Better Bakery is driving the lion's share of the growth in this category. Its choice-ingredient, premium-price product portfolio is comprised of sandwiches for all eating occasions, which is pivotal for us as we aggressively grow our leadership position as the nation's No. 1 provider of sandwiches for lunch, dinner and snacking and look to close the gap between AdvancePierre and the leading breakfast sandwich brand."

Bryan Freeman, CEO and co-founder of Better Bakery, which launched in 2010, will continue at AdvancePierre as vice president, premium and natural handhelds.

"Bryan will be a great asset to our team and together we're excited for the growth that lies ahead as we integrate Better Bakery into the AdvancePierre platform," Simons said. "The Caseyville manufacturing footprint that we acquired from Landshire last month provides a highly synergistic solution for Better Bakery's products and provides significant capacity to support future growth. This combination takes advantage of our leveraged buy in meat and cheese proteins, internal slicing capability, central distribution footprint and expansive logistics infrastructure to existing AdvancePierre customers."

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of this year.

"AdvancePierre's recent acquisitions are yet another step in our multifaceted growth agenda," said Dean Hollis, chairman of AdvancePierre and advisor to AdvancePierre's majority shareholder in funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP. "An aggressive acquisition plan, coupled with a robust innovation agenda that builds on three consecutive years of double-digit growth in our sandwich platform, demonstrates our commitment to being the go-to growth company for our customers and strategic partners."

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