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Kenex in the news

Imperial Frozen Foods Completes Asset Purchase of Greystone Foods

Kenex Holdings announced today that portfolio company Imperial Frozen Foods (Imperial) has purchased 100% of the assets of Greystone Foods LLC (Greystone). Greystone is a Birmingham, AL based manufacturer of branded and private label frozen (IQF) vegetables.

Greystone manufactures 30 varieties of grade-A frozen vegetables to 2,000 supermarkets across the US. The strategic asset acquisition extends Imperial's capabilities and product offerings to include frozen vegetables.

Greystone provides a unique selling point within the frozen IQF vegetable space by offering its full range of IQF vegetables in clear bags. Their clear bags allow the consumer to see exactly what they are buying and therefore product quality is at the highest of levels. The bags themselves are thicker than usual which prevents the product from acquiring crystallization during its transition through the supply chain from Greystone to the end user. Greystone's product is sold both under private label as well as the Today’s Harvest® label which is readily available in grocery stores throughout the Southeastern US.

Alex McIntosh, Imperial's VP of Sales, commented, "We feel Greystone is a strong strategic fit with our go to market strategy which will now allow Imperial to offer a one stop shop for IQF fruit and vegetables with both branded and private label solutions. Combining private label with Sunkist® Frozen Fruit and Today’s Harvest® Vegetables on the same truck can generate significant freight efficiencies for our customers."

Kenex Holdings acquired Imperial in December 2014. In 2016 Imperial opened up it's state-of-the-art production facility in Savannah, GA to further expand their product offering to customers. Imperial has also built a world-class management team to better serve their customers and position the company for growth.

Kenex Holdings Acquires Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, Inc.

Kenex Holdings, a Chicago-based investment holding company, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, Inc., an Aiea, Hawaii-based manufacturer of mochi ice cream.

Bubbies was founded in 1985 by category pioneer, Keith Robbins, and has since grown into the leading manufacturer of premium mochi ice cream in the United States. Bubbies also has a significant international footprint with distribution into France, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Robbins will remain a significant investor in Bubbies and will retain his unofficial title as "Mr. Bubbie" at industry trade shows moving forward. 

Robbins commented, “Kenex is the perfect fit with Bubbies' culture and this partnership will allow Bubbies to continue to grow and spread joy and peace through mochi. I believe this transaction will benefit our staff and our customers--a paramount goal of mine as I begin to transition into retirement. I am thankful that Kenex shares my passion for the product and vision for Bubbies so that the company can perpetuate its vision and goals.”  

Additionally, Kenex has partnered with a group of industry experts, headlined by Rick Schaffer, who will join Bubbies as CEO. Schaffer was most recently the VP of Retail Sales at Grecian Delight, a marketer and manufacturer of Greek and Mediterranean food products in the United States. Prior to Grecian Delight, Schaffer served as the VP of Sales for Inventure Foods’ frozen fruit division and the VP of Sales & Marketing at Tribe Mediterranean Foods. 

Nick Kuneman, a Partner at Kenex, commented, “We are excited to acquire Bubbies and invest in the next phase of its growth. Keith has built a phenomenal company and brand that possesses a product that is second-to-none in the market. Kenex has a proven strategy of working with family-owned companies to navigate leadership transition. With Rick's leadership, we have built out a team of active operators and managers as well as an experience-rich advisory board that will foster continued growth and success.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this great organization,” commented Rick Schaffer. “I look forward to working with the Bubbies team as we build upon the world-class organization Keith has so diligently assembled. Bubbies' products and reputation are an ideal foundation as we position ourselves for growth."

Kenex is an active investor in the food industry. This is Kenex's second platform investment in the frozen sector (Imperial Frozen Foods, 2014).

Financing for the transaction was provided by Tree Line Capital Partners. DLA Piper represented Kenex as legal counsel and RSM provided transaction advisory services on the transaction. Cascadia Capital served as financial advisor to Bubbies and Joyce Ziker Parkinson provided legal counsel.  

For more information, please contact Jake Freeman (jlf@kenexholdings.com) at Kenex Holdings.

Imperial Frozen Foods announces the opening of its new production facility in Savannah, Georgia

Imperial Frozen Foods is pleased to announce the opening of a new, state-of-the-art production facility in Savannah, Georgia. The new facility will become part of Imperial Frozen Foods production network, and will provide needed capacity for growth, while also helping to optimize logistics. The multiple production lines will give flexibility and augment our current capacity to support demand and continue product innovations.

The Savannah location will provide us with new capabilities, while allowing us to be more nimble in our ability to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and consumers in today’s fast-paced marketplace.

At full capacity, the production facility will employee between 60 - 100 people. We thank all of those who helped support us along the way and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the Savannah community.

Imperial Frozen Foods is a leading supplier of frozen fruits and fruit blends within the retail and foodservice markets.

Allied Track Services completes AV Rail add-on

Kenex Holdings portfolio company, Allied Track Services, has announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase AV Rail Contracting. AV Rail Contracting is a Vernon, BC, Canada based rail contracting company that specializes in high rail crane service, signals & communication, as well as track and railway delivery and maintenance services. AV Rail Contracting offers specialized railroad contracting services, with experienced crews, in a safe, quality driven and cost effective manner.