Schwan’s Co., Minneapolis, reached an agreement to sell a majority stake of the company to CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ), Seoul, South Korea.
The transaction will include 80% of Schwan’s and specific subsidiaries that focus on foods sold in retail, grocery and foodservice channels. The Schwan family will retain 20% ownership in the businesses being sold and will retain 100% ownership in Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., the home delivery business.
“This is an exciting time at Schwan’s. Over the past 66 years, our family, with the help of thousands of employees, has proudly built a very unique and successful food business that reaches consumers virtually everywhere they eat,” says Paul Schwan, board member and son of the company’s founder. “By becoming a part of an innovative, global team such as CJ CheilJedang, Schwan’s will be positioned to achieve new levels of growth in the spirit of the vision put forth by my father, Marvin Schwan, so many years ago.”
Once the transaction closes, Schwan’s will be operated as a subsidiary of CJ Foods America Corp., and its operations will continue to be headquartered at corporate offices in Marshall and Bloomington, Minn. Additionally, the current senior management team at Schwan’s will remain in place, and the plants will continue to produce Schwan’s brands, including Schwan’s fine foods, Red Baron, Freschetta and Tony’s pizza, Edwards and Mrs. Smith’s desserts, Pagoda Asian-style foods and Schwan’s Home Delivery.
“We are entering a new and exciting era at Schwan’s, and we look forward to working closely with our new team members to further strengthen our operations and accelerate growth for the benefit of consumers, customers and employees,” says Dimitrios Smyrnios, chief executive officer of Schwan’s. “CJ CheilJedang is an extraordinarily world-class and innovative company well-known for their success worldwide, and we are very impressed with their global growth plans and investments in the United States. The future for Schwan’s and our people is very bright.”