Kahiki Foods Inc., Gahanna, Ohio, announced that its owners, ABARTA Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., signed an agreement to sell 100% of the stock to CJ CheilJedang, Seoul, Korea.
"This is an extraordinary time for our company. CJ CheilJedang has a very successful track record, particularly in the food industry in Asia, and they have ambitious plans for their food business in the U.S. With the additional support and resources that a global food company can provide, we think we can really accelerate the performance of our iconic brand in the growing and dynamic Asian frozen food category. Our goal has always been to excite and delight our consumers, and this change will help us bring that excitement to more consumers in more places around the country," says Martin Kelly, president and CEO.
"We are impressed by the progress Kahiki has made in building a leading Asian frozen food brand, and we are excited to add Kahiki to our corporate family,” adds Hans Shin, global head of CJ CheilJedang Foods Business. “We look forward to working with the existing Kahiki team to find ways to accelerate the company's success. Together with Kahiki, CJ looks forward to building a great food business in the U.S. We have a shared vision to become the leading maker and marketer of frozen Asian foods in this country."
Kahiki will operate as a subsidiary of CJ America, still headquartered in Gahanna, and will continue producing Crispy Tempura, StirFresh meals, Bowl & Roll single-serve meals, Savory Sidekicks, Yum Yum Stix, Rockin' Rolls, Dim Sum and Family Feast meals. The current senior management team will remain in place.
"It has been a great pleasure working with all of the wonderful people at Kahiki. The company has been an important part of our family business for over 10 years, and we are pleased with the progress the company has made during that time. We are also excited about Kahiki's future, and we are happy that we have found a great home for Kahiki in CJ CheilJedang, a place where Kahiki can continue to pursue its potential,” says John Bitzer, chief executive officer of ABARTA.
"We are grateful to ABARTA and the Tsao family, who have provided patience, capital and support over the 10-plus years of the current ownership structure. We are also extremely appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our 250 teammates, known as Kahikians, who have contributed to our success and helped us build the extraordinary business we have today," adds Kelly.