Cincinatti-based AdvancePierre Foods announced plans to acquire the manufacturing assets of Better Bakery, LLC, a Valencia, Calif.-based manufacturer of premium stuffed sandwiches. Production will be relocated to AdvancePierre’s Caseyville, Ill., facility, a sandwich manufacturing operation the company acquired from Landshire, Inc.

“We are eager to incorporate another high-growth, strategic acquisition into the AdvancePierre portfolio,” says John Simons, president and CEO. “Stuffed hand-held sandwiches are the largest category in the frozen sandwich market, and Better Bakery is driving the lion’s share of the growth in this category. Its choice-ingredient, premium-price product portfolio is comprised of sandwiches for all eating occasions, which is pivotal for us as we aggressively grow our leadership position as the nation’s No. 1 provider of sandwiches for lunch, dinner and snacking and look to close the gap between AdvancePierre and the leading breakfast sandwich brand.”

Better Bakery produces high-quality stuffed sandwiches and other licensed products, including Pretzel Melts, Skinny Melts and Breakfast Melts. This acquisition will expand AdvancePierre’s presence in on-trend, clean label products, enabling new distribution and market penetration with premium and natural food customers across its foodservice, retail and convenience channels.

Co-founder and CEO Bryan Freeman will continue at AdvancePierre in his new role as vice president, premium and natural handhelds.

“Bryan will be a great asset to our team, and together, we’re excited for the growth that lies ahead as we integrate Better Bakery into the AdvancePierre platform,” Simons adds. “The Caseyville manufacturing footprint that we acquired from Landshire last month provides a highly synergistic solution for Better Bakery’s products and provides significant capacity to support future growth. This combination takes advantage of our leveraged buy in meat and cheese proteins, internal slicing capability, central distribution footprint and expansive logistics infrastructure to existing AdvancePierre customers.”

“AdvancePierre's recent acquisitions are yet another step in our multi-faceted growth agenda,” says Dean Hollis, chairman of AdvancePierre and advisor to AdvancePierre’s majority shareholder in funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Los Angeles. “An aggressive acquisition plan, coupled with a robust innovation agenda that builds on three consecutive years of double-digit growth in our sandwich platform, demonstrates our commitment to being the go-to growth company for our customers and strategic partners."

AdvancePierre expects to close the Better Bakery acquisition in the second quarter of 2015. The company’s recent acquisition of Landshire closed on Jan. 30.