PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine food-processing company known for its frozen stuffed chicken products has been bought by an Ohio-based business, the companies announced Wednesday.
AdvancePierre Foods, of Cincinnati, acquired Portland-based Barber Foods for an undisclosed price in a deal that was completed late Tuesday.
Barber Foods' manufacturing plant will continue operations in Portland, where the company employs 670 workers from more than 50 countries, said President David Barber. The company decided this was a good time to sell as the food industry continues to consolidate, he said.
"The company will accelerate growth and ensure the long-term prosperity of the Barber Foods brand," he said in a statement.
Founded in 1955, Barber Foods is a family-owned business that processes and distributes more than 300 frozen chicken products that are sold in supermarkets under the Barber Foods label. The company does not disclose its revenues.
Privately held AdvancePierre makes and distributes packaged sandwiches, bakery goods and a variety of cooked meat products to restaurants, schools, the military, convenience stores, club stores, vending machine operators, retailers and other markets. It has plants in Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina and Iowa.
AdvancePierre was created through the October merger of Pierre Foods, Advance Food Co. and Advance Brands. It has about 4,000 employees and annual sales of about $1.4 billion.
AdvancePierre intends to invest millions of dollars in Barber's Portland processing plant and utilize the Barber brand to increase the retail sales of its frozen chicken products, especially on the East coast and in Canada, company officials said.
"By adding the Barber brand to our existing line of value-added poultry offerings sold under the Fast Fixin' and Fast Classics trademarks, we have a whole new avenue for retail growth," said Chris Kiser, president of AdvancePierre Foods' brands division.