Bonduelle, France, entered into an agreement to acquire Ready Pac Foods, the Irwindale, Calif.-based producer of convenience fresh meal solutions, salads and fresh cut produce. The transaction is expected to close by the end of March. Upon closing, Bonduelle will acquire 100% of the common stock of Ready Pac Foods, and plans to run the business as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The acquisition will help fuel the growth of both companies in the fresh food space. Bonduelle will expand its fresh business to the United States, a market in which it has limited presence. Ready Pac Foods will benefit from a greater level of investment in growth, innovation and global reach.

"We were impressed with the strength of Ready Pac Foods’ operational excellence, commitment to innovation and talented management team," says Christophe Bonduelle, chairman and CEO of Bonduelle. "Our interest in Ready Pac Foods was not only because of its attractive product segment and rapid growth, but the value the company delivers to their customers and their committed workforce."

Ready Pac Foods' portfolio complements existing Bonduelle products throughout the world.

"Ready Pac Foods has seen significant growth over the last several years, and joining forces with Bonduelle validates our current business approach," says Tony Sarsam, chief executive officer of Ready Pac Foods. "This is a fantastic new chapter for our 3,500 associates and a great step forward.  We are thrilled with this investment in our company strategy, and know Ready Pac Foods is going to be right at home with the Bonduelle family of companies."

Upon closing, Sarsam will continue to lead Ready Pac Foods; there will be no changes to Ready Pac Foods’ leadership team.

During its nearly 50-year history, Ready Pac Foods has earned the reputation as a pioneer and leader in the fresh food industry, bringing European lettuce blends to the U.S. market, for example, developing the "pillow pack" to maintain peak freshness and inventing the triple wash system. Ready Pac Foods also introduced what is said to be the first-ever single-serve, complete meal salad, the Bistro Bowl.

Bonduelle, with more than $2 billion in revenue, owns four brands of canned, fresh and frozen vegetables with presence in 100 countries around the world.