The month of July is known as National Blueberry Month. It was designated on May 8, 1999, by the US Department of Agriculture. Currently, there are 35 states in the US that grow blueberries. And, the majority of blueberries (90 percent) are produced in the US. In honor of National Blueberry Month, we will highlight the acquisition of Willamette Valley Fruit Companies Berry Processing Business by Inventure Foods.
On May 28, 2013, Inventure Foods, Inc. announced that it acquired the Berry Processing Business of Willamette Valley Fruit Company, LLC. Inventure is a leading specialty food marketer and manufacturer, and Willamette is a family-owned business located in Salem, Oregon. The assets that were purchased include the berry processing equipment, long-term building and ground leases, and other intellectual property and inventory rights.
The consideration for this deal includes Inventure assuming certain liabilities that relate to the existing business contracts which will arrive after the closing date and $9.5 million in cash. A portion of the cash is being held back to secure post-closing purchase price adjustments and indemnity claims. In addition, a contingent consideration (in the form of an earn-out if certain performance thresholds are met during the period of up to seven years following the closing) was set at $3 million.
Willamette is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading processors of high-quality berry products. Each summer the company processes an average of 13 million pounds of fruit, including strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries, cranberries and a variety of blackberries, which includes the local favorite marionberries.
Terry McDaniel, chief executive officer of Inventure Foods, Inc. said, “We are delighted to have finalized this acquisition. This transaction further underscores our commitment to providing healthy food options to consumers and will help us meet the growing demand for our frozen berries. The acquired business is well positioned within the Oregon berry community, and we look forward to strengthening our ties with the grower community. We are also excited about the additional capabilities this acquisition will bring and look forward to further diversifying our geographic footprint.”
McDaniel concluded, “Dave Dunn will continue to lead our new organization. Dave has been very instrumental in leading the success of Willamette Valley Fruit. We are very pleased to work with Dave and his excellent team providing resources and capital to ensure we together continue growing our healthy fruit business.”
About Inventure Foods, Inc.
The company has manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Indiana, and Washington, and is a marketer and manufacturer of specialty food brands in better-for-you and indulgent categories under a variety of company owned and licensed brands. The brands include: Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, Jamba, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Rader Farms, TGI Fridays, Nathan’s Famous, Vidalia Brands, Poore Brothers, Tato Skins, and Bob’s Texas Style.
About Willamette Valley Fruit Company
The Gerald Roth family started the company in 1999. Three generations of the Roth family have been growing berries through the company in Salem, Oregon. Willamette is a family-owned business and not a cooperative. However it works closely with 20 to 30 local growers each year to ensure that each market is supplied. The majority of the fruit is flash frozen, but the company also makes purées, straight pack products, and drum stock.
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