Bob Evans Farms Inc. is selling all of the company’s iconic restaurants and acquiring a firm that produces potato products in a move to focus the company’s efforts on packaged foods, the New Albany, OH-based company announced Tuesday.
Bob Evens will shed its restaurant assets to Golden Gate Capital for $565 million and acquire a producer of ready-to-cook potato products, Pineland Farms Potato Company, for $115 million, to support growth of the company’s packaged foods subsidiary BEF Foods Inc.
The move “marks the beginning of a new era at Bob Evans Farms in which the company will focus exclusively on realizing the full market potential of its BEF Foods business,” a press release announcing the transactions said.
BEF Foods produces ready-to-eat sausage products and dinner and breakfast dishes for foodservice, and retail customers.
‘The sale of Bob Evans Restaurants enables us to concentrate exclusively on BEF Foods, our fastest growing and most profitable segment,” said president and chief executive officer of Bob Evans Farms Saed Mohseni in a statement. “We believe this focus will result in higher returns for our shareholders and, as a more focused private business, Bob Evans Restaurants will be better able to deliver on its brand promise of providing quality food and hospitality to every guest at every meal.”
The sale of Pineland Farms Potato Company includes a 900-acre potato farm and a potato processing facility that has a 180 million-lb capacity, the company said. A portion of the plant should be online by April 2017.
“The acquisition of PFPC not only increases our side-dish production capacity, it provides capability to produce and sell diced and shredded potato products in both retail and foodservice food channels,” said Mohseni.
Mike Townsley, president of BEF Foods, will become president and chief executive officer of Bob Evans following the transaction, which the company expects to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.