Schwan’s Company announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell a majority stake of the company to CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ), of Seoul, South Korea.
The transaction will include 80 percent of Schwan’s Company and specific subsidiaries that focus on foods sold in retail and grocery channels and food-service venues. The Schwan family will retain 20 percent ownership in the businesses being sold to CJCJ and will also retain 100 percent ownership in Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., which represents the legacy home-delivery business that Marvin Schwan launched in 1952.
The transaction is expected to close in the next 60 to 90 days. The sale will also include the company’s manufacturing and logistics operations and various professional and administrative services. More information about the agreement can be found in CJ CheilJedang’s public announcement.
“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,” said Paul Schwan, a Schwan’s 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.”
Schwan’s Company began in 1952 as a one-man-and-a-truck home-delivery business operating in rural Minnesota. Today, Schwan’s is a leading U.S. food manufacturer and marketer with approximately 12,000 employees and trusted brands like 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.
The purchase agreement with CJCJ is the result of a strategic process led by the Schwan family, the company’s board of directors and members of the senior management team to identify the right company to invest in the long-term future of Schwan’s. Once the transaction is closed, 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 Schwan’s family of businesses will continue to offer delicious foods through its many trusted brands.
“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,” said Schwan’s CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios. “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.”