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Flagship Food's unit buys several assets of Glutenfreeda Foods

Published 24 August 2017

Flagship Food Group's subsidiary has purchased various assets of Glutenfreeda Foods, including its brand portfolio and USDA manufacturing facility near Seattle, Washington, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will enhance Flagship's brand distribution in new retail outlets, which include traditional, natural, and specialty food retailers across the US and Canada.

The acquisition also provides Flagship with manufacturing capabilities in the Pacific Northwest.Key members of management, including Yvonne Gifford, Jessica Hale, and Greg Gifford will join the Flagship team.

Flagship CEO Rob Holland said: "Over the past decade, Yvonne and her team have developed a tremendous portfolio of gluten-free and 'better for you' products that represent what consumers today want in their food products.Their brand mission is similar in many ways to the commitment we've made with our Lilly B's brand and other products in our portfolio, and we see tremendous opportunity to combine forces to better serve our customers.

"Through our partnership, we hope to vastly expand the distribution of both brand portfolios while staying true to what makes them important to our consumers."

Flagship CFO and head of M&A Patrick Moulder said: "We have known the Glutenfreeda family for many years.  I am pleased that we have been able to come together in a transaction that I am confident will benefit both teams as we continue to grow."

Glutenfreeda was founded in 2006 on the premise that there was significant consumer demand for food that was gluten-free, but that also tasted good. The brand is known for its granola, oatmeal, burritos, sandwich wraps, tortillas, and flatbreads.

Today, its products are found in retailers across North America including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Publix, Loblaws, Wegmans, Kroger, and numerous other retailers.The Company also has an active direct-to-consumer business through its partnership with Amazon Prime.

Glutenfreeda founder and CEO Yvonne Gifford said: "It's been an amazing journey building and running this company.  We have great products and great customers.What we needed was a great business partner. Flagship is the perfect fit for our business, our team, and our production facility."

Glutenfreeda operates a 25,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Burlington, Washington.Flagship will take over operations in the facility and has agreed to hire nearly all of the employees of the company.

"As our business has grown across the country, we need more production space.We hope that we can expand upon the operations in Burlingtonover time.", Moulder added.

Flagship developed its own 'good for you' brand, Lilly B's, in 2015.  Named after Holland's daughter, Lilly B's is a leader in the organic space with its 100% organic burritos, sweet potato French fries, and other products.

Last week, Flagship announced the construction of a new 76,000 square foot frozen distribution facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Governor Susana Martinez joined Holland and Flagship COO Carlos Angulo on location to announce the new facility.

JP Morgan Chase and HSBC Bank provided the majority of the financing for the acquisition.