The acquisition spree by United Natural Foods continued Thursday, when the distributor announced a deal to acquire California produce distributor Nor-Cal Produce for $68.6 million in cash.
UNFI, Providence, R.I., has made several acquisitions of specialty and fresh food companies in recent months to assist a rapid diversification of its dry grocery capabilities. The deal for Nor-Cal, a West Sacramento, Calif.-based distributor of conventional and organic produce gives UNFI "a national presence in produce," it said in a release.
UNFI has made specialty and perimeter products a priority to better service a natural-food retailer base that's seen its share attacked by conventional supermarkets in recent years. Its recent acquisitions include specialty distributor Haddon House Foods, Florida-based fresh supplier Global Organics/Specialty Source, both announced earlier this month.
“We are excited to expand the breadth of our fresh perimeter product assortment and distribution network with the acquisition of Nor-Cal,” Steven Spinner, UNFI’s president and CEO, said. “This acquisition further illustrates UNFI’s growth into fresh and we look forward to working with Todd Achondo, president of Nor-Cal, who will remain at the company in a leadership role, and their entire team.”
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Founded in 1972, Nor-Cal is a family owned and operated distributor of conventional and organic produce, floral and other fresh products. According to its website, it services more than 235 retailers in Northern California, Southern Oregon, and Northern Nevada. Annual net sales for Nor-Cal for the twelve months ended Feb. 29, were approximately $151 million.
“The entire Nor-Cal team is excited to be a part of UNFI. We look forward to working together to grow the combined company and better serve our customers nationwide,” Achondo said.
UNFI said the transaction is expected to be accretive to fiscal 2017 earnings. UNFI financed the purchase price with a combination of available cash and borrowings under its revolving credit facility.
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