Thai meat importer Charoen Pokphand Foods has acquired US frozen food business Bellisio for $1.075 billion.
CP Foods described Minneapolis-based Bellisio as ‘one of America’s largest and fastest-growing frozen food companies’. It manufactures a range of products – including single-serve frozen entrées, snacks, side dishes and speciality sauces – under its Michelina’s and Eat! brands, as well as under licensed brands such as Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell and Atkins.
The seller is Centre Partners Management, a private equity group based in New York and Los Angeles.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership with CP Foods and the potential it has to drive a next phase of significant growth for Bellisio,” said Joel Conner, chairman and CEO of Bellisio. “CP Foods is a company with whom we share the same values and commitment to quality and innovation.”
CP Foods CEO Adirek Sripratak added: “This transaction represents a breakthrough for CP Foods 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.”
CP Foods is a major player in the Asia-Pacific region’s agroindustrial and food industries. Its business operation includes meat processing, the manufacture of semi-cooked and fully cooked meat, food products and ready meals, as well as further activity in the food retail and restaurant sectors.
Its headquarters are in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
Centre Partners managing partner Bruce Pollack 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 CP Foods 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 following the shift in ownership. CP Foods pledged that Bellisio 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’.
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