Maplehurst completes deal; Lifeway to buy juice maker
George Weston Limited said its subsidiary, Maplehurst Bakeries, LLC completed its purchase of Keystone Bakery Holdings, LLC for approximately US $185 million. Officials said Keystone is a leading supplier of frozen baked goods to the in-store bakery and foodservice industries. Keystone is comprised of three operating companies: Freed's Bakery, a Manchester, N.H., supplier of frozen, thaw-and-sell iced cupcakes; Granny's Kitchens, a Frankfort, N.Y., supplier of both frozen pre-fried and frozen, thaw-and-sell donuts; and Heartland Baking, a DuQuoin, Ill,, supplier of frozen, thaw-and-sell cookies.
"The combination of Keystone Bakeries and Weston's baking operations in the United States and Canada will allow us to better serve our customers in the North American sweet baked goods sector," said Weston Chairman and President W. Galen Weston.
Maplehurst, Brownsburg, Ind., processes and distributes frozen cakes, donuts, rolls, breads, pies, Danish, and cinnamon rolls.
Refrigerated Kefir producer Lifeway Foods Inc., Morton Grove, Ill., said it expects by Oct. 4, 2010, to acquire Fruit Juice, Inc., a Randolph, N.J., processor of organic fruit and vegetable juice beverages for children. Officials said the deal "builds on Lifeway's successful entry into the children's market with its ProBugs line of children's organic kefir, opens potential new distribution channels for existing Lifeway products, and marks the first step in a strategic diversification into non-dairy-based health beverages."
Lifeway said First Juice offers four juice flavors that are made from organic produce, lower in sugar than comparable products, and sold through more than 300 Babies R Us and Toys R Us stores as well as outlets including Whole Foods Market, Ralphs, Amazon.com and Diapers.com. The company's apple+carrot, banana+carrot, blueberry+purple carrot and peach+purple carrot juices are available in 8 oz. reusable and recyclable, spill-proof, BPA-free containers which feature a patented no-spill sippy-top for on-the-go use as well as in 32-ounce bottles for home use and refills.
First Juice recorded over $1.7 million in sales in 2009. Lifeway said it paid $220,000 for First Juice's assets. Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky had previously served as a board member of First Juice, Inc. since 2006.