After posting sales of $677 million last year, Ready Pac Foods Inc., an Irwindale packager of fresh salads, is ripe for a buyer.
“The kind of growth we are experiencing attracts attention,” wrote Tony Sarsam, chief executive of the company, which is owned by Miami private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.
“ReadyPac is very profitable and makes a very attractive candidate for an acquisition.” said Kevin Burke, an analyst with Brentwood-based Trinity Capital. Though
the company reportedly has expressed interest in a sale, Sarsam would not discuss timing or method.
“I will not speculate on any potential transaction. Right now, we’re laser-focused on being the most innovative fresh food company,” he said, adding there are no plans to take the company public at this time.
The packaged food business has seen a series of acquisitions recently.
Over the last year, Hormel Foods acquired Applegate Farms; Hain Celestial Group acquired Orchard House; and WhiteWave Foods Co. bought Vega Foods, Wallaby, and Earthbound Farms.
“WhiteWave or anyone else who is a provider of produce or fresh food could be a buyer for Ready Pac,” said Lloyd Greif, chief executive of downtown L.A. investment banking firm Greif & Co. “Also, another private equity firm can buy them. Private equity firms have clocks and when a clock ticks, it’s time for them to sell a company and make a buck.”
Ready Pac was founded in 1969 by Dennis Gertmenian. In 2007, it was acquired by Bayside Capital Inc., an affiliate of H.I.G., whose portfolio includes money management software firm Quicken and background screening reports seller Intelius Inc.
Like those other portfolio companies, Ready Pac has a large footprint in its industry. It accounts for 23 percent of the sales in the packaged salad market, just behind Dole Food Co., which posted 2015 sales of about $777 million, or a 26 percent share of the market.
Ready Pac employs more than 3,300 workers nationwide and distributes its products to 10,000 stores across the country, including retail giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. It also provides its salads to McDonald’s Corp.
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