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    UK Food Company Greencore Acquires Lettieri’s

    Growing its U.S. food-to-go business has been a focus since 2011.

    DUBLIN and SHAKOPEE, Minn. -- Greencore Group plc, an international manufacturer of convenience foods, has been working since 2011 to build up its food-to-go business in the United States. The company today announced two separate moves that will push it farther along that path.

    First, Greencore acquired Lettieri’s LLC, a manufacturer of food-to-go products for the U.S. convenience channel. Lettieri’s operates a facility in Shakopee, Minn., and employs approximately 130 workers. Lettieri’s products are manufactured frozen, but served hot via roller grills and heated cabinets.

    The product range includes assembled products such as breakfast sandwiches, extruded products like stuffed baguettes and breadsticks, and enrobed products such as wrap dogs for the roller grill. For the year ended in March, Lettieri’s posted revenue of $36.4 million and attributable EBITDA of $4.7 million.

    Greencore, based in Dublin, said it will fund this transaction from existing debt facilities and expects the acquisition to be "modestly earnings-accretive" in the current financial year.

    The second move by Greencore to boost its U.S. business involves a $10-million investment in a Jacksonville, Fla., manufacturing facility where it intends to produce frozen food to-go products. According to Greencore, this investment will support up to $100 million of revenue from products designed for hot eating during both the breakfast and lunch occasions. The company anticipates the first such products will come to the market in the final quarter of the 2014 fiscal year.

    “We have been working since 2011 to build a focused, growing food-to-go business in the U.S. Today’s announcement represents an important further step on that journey," said Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore. "Both the Lettieri’s acquisition and the capital investment into Jacksonville deepen our manufacturing capability and widen our product range to more fully serve the food-to-go needs of our customers in the small store channels.

    Both investments are also consistent with its long-term approach of developing high-quality manufacturing facilities to meet the specific growth strategies of its key U.S. customers," he continued.

    Greencore's existing Convenience Foods Division provides a wide range of chilled, frozen and ambient foods to major retail, manufacturing and foodservice customers in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as in continental Europe, the U.S. and beyond. The company has 23 convenience food manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom and the U.S., and employs approximately 11,000 people.

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