Universal Pure Holdings LLC, Villa Rica, Ga., acquired Stay Fresh Foods LLC, Meriden, Conn.

The transaction combines two providers of high-pressure processing (HPP) services and solutions. The consolidated platform will operate 15 HPP machines across six locations in the United States, serve over 110 customers and HPP over 900 million pounds of food and beverage products.

Stay Fresh Foods offers a host of supply chain and value-added services, including beverage co-packing from its Meriden and Pennsauken, N.J., locations.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Amy Lawless and her team to help fuel the growth of our combined businesses,” says Jeff Williams, chief executive officer of Universal Pure.

“It’s been very gratifying to see the transformation of HPP from a pioneering food safety technology to a mainstream approach that promotes healthful eating,” adds Amy Lawless, president of Stay Fresh Foods. “Universal Pure has also been at the forefront, and we share a common service-oriented mentality. As part of the Universal Pure family, we can offer more resources and more locations to our customers, while assuring them that the things that make us special—our responsiveness and rapid processing turnaround, for example—will stay the same.”

“As the demand grows for healthier foods and cleaner ingredient labels, Stay Fresh’s range of capabilities and expertise expands our capacity and geography, enabling us to better serve branded customers, retailers and foodservice companies,” adds Williams. “We are excited about the opportunity to accelerate our leadership position in the HPP industry, and will continue to invest in our capabilities, services, geographic reach and people to better serve our customers.”

Lawless will retain her role as president of Stay Fresh Foods, focusing on Northeast sales and growth of the combined entity’s beverage business. Joe Ragozzino, vice president of operations for Stay Fresh Foods, will become general manager of Stay Fresh Foods, overseeing operations in Connecticut and New Jersey as well as assisting with other Universal Pure growth initiatives.