The nearly 100-year-old Company is a regional processor of branded apple sauce, apple juice, apple vinegar and other fruit products with revenue of approximately $100 million. Most products are sold under a major brand, which enjoys wide recognition in its geographic market and leading market share in key product categories.
After decades of revenue growth and market leadership, the Company began to face financial challenges due to pricing pressures created by a more competitive retail environment, coupled with escalating product costs.
The Company was faced with insolvency scenarios due to continued losses, despite the efforts of a third-party turnaround consultant.
The Company retained Fort Dearborn to act as exclusive financial advisor for the sale of this distressed business:
–Fort Dearborn generated interest and visits from industry and financial buyers;
–Fort Dearborn’s sale process generated multiple bids;
–The successful bidder increased the price by 50% over the initial bid, and improved the deal structure;
–The sale of stock provided a complete exit for the sellers, including non-core real estate; and
–The deal closed within 120 days of retention.
The FDP sales process generated numerous management visits and multiple offers from which the Company could choose.
The buyer provided the best total solution to the family - attractive value for the shareholders, a quick and complete exit from the varied operations of the Company, and the buyer’s commitment to continue running a specific plant, providing continuity of the family legacy.