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March 10, 2012 - 9:51am

Food processing plants in Oakfield and Bergen sold to French company

posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Oakfield, Allens Inc..

Allens Inc., a food-processing company based in Arkansas, has sold four of its six frozen vegetable processing plants, including its Oakfield and Bergen plants, to Bonduelle Group, a privately held firm based in France.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close by the end of the month.

The four plants employ 400 people. The number employed in just Bergen and Oakfield were not released.

Allens is reportedly using the funds generated by the sale to invest in new technology and expand its canned-food operations in Arkansas, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

"We're excited to put a renewed focus on the core of our business and the market segments we are most passionate about," said Rick Allen, president and CEO of Allens. "With this renewed concentration, we anticipate greater growth, more innovation and even better customer service and product quality. We're excited about what this will mean to the marketplace and to our customers and partners, overall."

The purchase includes the Chill Ripe brand and the frozen Garden Classics brand, as well as a license to use certain brand names owned by Allens in the frozen business for a limited transitional period.

The two Genesee County plants were acquired by Allens in 2006 from Birds Eye.

Sources: Rochester Business Journal and a press release.

tom hunt
tom hunt's picture
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: Jan 31 2009 - 9:08am

This spells the end of the business. It has been my experience that the French have a way of destroying every business they acquire ie: Valeo in Rochester, my maintenance group at kodak that was lead by a native Frenchman who destroyed it in less than a year. I also have a close friend from Canada who has worked for several automotive supply companies that were acquired by the French and brought down to their knees in short order.

Tammy Way
Tammy Way's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 19 2008 - 12:21pm

there must be something they can do

Last seen: 2 days 1 hour ago
Joined: Jul 9 2008 - 10:45am

Hope they hold the positions and maybe even create more jobs..If all else fails,good old NYS is gives over 2 years of umemployment checks to anyone that has had a job for 6 months and then doesn't..?

C. M. Barons
C. M. Barons's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 11:56pm

Plus grand échantillon est nécessaire

Do Firms Forget about Their Past Acquisitions? Evidence from French Acquisitions in the United States (1988–2006) Pierre-Xavier Meschi IAE Aix-en-Provence (CERGAM, Aix-Marseille Université) and SKEMA Business School

"...of 731 U.S. firms acquired by French firms between 1988 and 2006. The research shows that acquisition experience that is old or recent has no significant impact on acquisition performance."

Review: Les Fusions-Acquisitions aux USA, by Yves Quintin; published by Les Editions Bruylant in Belgium and France and Les Editions Yvon Blais (a Thomson company) in Québec. Mergers and Acquisitions, October 10, 2005

"The colors of the French and American flags may be identical, and 'football' may be played in both countries," Quintin says, "but the games, and the rules, are different. The financial stakes in the U.S. are much higher and this is driven, to a large extent, by the legal system and, more fundamentally, by different social systems."
Among foreign countries doing business in the US, France employs the third largest number of Americans. Many popular US brands are actually French-owned.
Allegra (Aventis Pharmaceuticals)
Amtrak Acela (Alstom)
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* An NBC Universal Company in which Vivendi Universal owns a 20% share and General Electric owns an 80% share
** US distribution rights

CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Order Code RL32459

U.S.-French Commercial Tie

U.S. commercial ties with France are extensive, mutually profitable, and growing. With approximately $1 billion in commercial transactions taking place between the two countries every business day of the year, each country has an increasingly large stake in the health and openness of the other’s economy.

France is the 9th largest merchandise trading partner for the United States and the United States is France’s largest trading partner outside the European Union. In 2003, 64% or $29.7 billion of bilateral trade occurred in major industries such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, medical and scientific equipment, electrical machinery, and plastics where both countries export and import similar products.

The United States and France also have a large and growing trade in services such as tourism, education, finance, insurance and other professional services. In
2002, France was the sixth largest market for U.S. exports of services and the seventh largest provider of services to the United States.

While trade in goods and services receives most of the attention in terms of the commercial relationship, foreign direct investment and the activities of foreign affiliates can be viewed as the backbone of the commercial relationship. The scale of sales of U.S.-owned companies operating in France and French-owned companies operating in the United States outweighs trade transactions by a factor of six to five.

In 2002 France was the sixth largest host country for U.S. foreign direct investment abroad and the United States with investments valued at $43.9 billion was the number one foreign investor in France. During that same year, French companies had direct investments in the United States totaling $171 billion (historical cost basis), making France the second largest investor in the United States. French-owned companies employed some 578,600 workers in the United States in 2001..."

French ambassador: Charlotte's 'on the map' for business
By Jim Morrill
[email protected]
French-American relations are at a high point, and North Carolina is poised to reap the benefits, France's ambassador to the United States said Thursday in Charlotte.

Ambassador Francois Delattre told a World Affairs Council audience that like North Carolina, Charlotte has become a destination for French companies.

He touted figures: $3 billion a year in trade, $1.3 billion in French investment in the state, 30,000 North Carolinians employed in French-owned companies.

From the Bonduelle website-

News09/03/2012 Bonduelle announces the acquisition of Allens frozen vegetables sites in the United States

The transaction, which consists in the purchase of the Group’s assets, could be concluded at the end of March, following authorisation by the US Competition Authorities, and concerns four of the five Allens frozen vegetable industrial sites - Bergen, Oakfield, Brockport (State of New York) and Fairwater (Wisconsin) - assuring the jobs of 400 permanent employees. It includes the Chill Ripe and Garden Classic brands as well as the right to use the Allens and Veg-All brand names for a period of 18 months.

Allens is a family business created in 1926 in Arkansas (its head office is in Siloam Springs), which originally specialised in canned vegetables. In 2006 Allens entered the frozen vegetable segment by acquiring the Birds Eye industrial sites dedicated to the distributor’s own brand products. In 2011 the Allens Group’s sales of frozen vegetables represented a volume of around 150,000T in the USA, with 40% going to the General Public, 25% to Foodservice and 35% to industrial sales.

Until now, Bonduelle North America (head office in Montreal), the leader in canned and frozen vegetables in Canada under distributors’ own brands and under its own labels (Bonduelle, Arctic Gardens, etc.) with over de 335,000T of vegetables grown in Quebec and Ontario, exported 30% of its production to the United States, mainly as frozen produce via the Foodservice networks. This acquisition will not only allow it to reinforce the growth of its sales but will also be advantageous in terms of exchange rate risks (better balance of productions and sales in US dollars) and the balancing of climate-related risks.

The Bonduelle Group, whose head office is situated in Villeneuve d’Ascq in northern France, is the world leader in prepared vegetables (canned, frozen, dehydrated, bagged salads in sachets and delicatessen products). It operates 42 production sites in Western Europe, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Canada and Brazil, generates a turnover of €1,726 million and employs 7,250 permanent employees.

With this acquisition, the Bonduelle Group becomes one of the main players in prepared vegetables in North America and pursues its growth outside of the European Union.

Press contacts
Catherine Richard – RP carrées Tel: 0033 (0)3 28 52 00 51 / P : 0033 (0)6 09 25 14 61
Email: [email protected]
Anne-Sophie Joly – RP carrées Tél. 0033 (0)3 28 52 00 56. Email : [email protected]

Frank Bartholomew
Frank Bartholomew's picture
Last seen: 6 hours 29 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2010 - 8:02pm

Well then, viva la france!!!

Tammy Way
Tammy Way's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 19 2008 - 12:21pm

sure opened my eyes--learn something new all the time

Kyle Couchman
Kyle Couchman's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 25 2009 - 8:54am

I agree Tammy I love it when misconceptions (even ones I hold) are shattered with facts, its a kind of mental rush to have beliefs shattered and new knowledge forced in. Gives me sense of accomplishment to learn and retain things like this. Sometimes the limited view that opens up leads to new discoveries in other subjects....

Bea McManis
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Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: May 4 2009 - 9:20pm

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Don Lovelace
Don  Lovelace's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 23 2008 - 8:11am

I see a French flag flying at O-Atka plant.
They are expanding and have a large ad in the pennysaver hiring people for all shifts. That to me indicates their business is growing not being destroyed.

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