Avocado products producer Calavo Growers Inc. said Tuesday that it had acquired a majority interest in a Minnesota fresh salsa company in order to expand into the salsa market.
The Santa Paula producer of guacamole and other fresh produce products said it now holds a 65 percent interest in a new subsidiary, Calavo Salsa Lisa LLC, which contains the assets of Lisa's Salsa company of St. Paul. Calavo's ownership position includes an option to acquire the remaining 35 percent of the company at any time during the next 81 months. The announcement didn’t specify who now owns the 35 percent.
Lisa’s Salsa founder Lisa Nicholson joins the subsidiary to oversee manufacturing operations, product development and marketing. Operations will remain in St. Paul. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to launch Calavo Salsa Lisa with the goal of leveraging our nationwide infrastructure and distribution channels to build a powerful market position in refrigerated salsa, which is a substantial and growing category,” Chief Executive Lee E. Cole said in a press release. The company, which began as a grower’s co-up, in recent years has expanded into tomato, papaya, pineapple and mushroom products.
Shares were up 8 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $16.36 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.
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