April 24/Market News Publishing -- Cheese Brand Monterey Gourmet Foods secured 100% managing control and ownership of Sonoma Foods effective March 31, 2008. As part of the transaction, in the first quarter of 2008, the company will write down intangible assets, inventory and accrue severances, which is expected to total approximately $2.4 million as well as implement cost savings programs which are expected to yield benefits of approximately $700,000 annually.

"We are very pleased to have gained full control of the popular Sonoma Cheese brand," stated Eric C. Eddings, president and CEO of Monterey Gourmet Foods. "Sonoma Cheese brand equity has grown among our customers; however, critical production and procurement decisions created operating losses. Therefore, similar to our successful turnaround of our Casual Gourmet brand, we intend to focus Sonoma Foods on our core cheese business and return the unit to positive cash flow before we extend the product line."

Scott Wheeler, Monterey Gourmet Foods' CFO, said, "We are confident the Monterey Gourmet management team will increase productivity and improve margins of the Sonoma Cheese brand. Our plan contains concrete actions that eliminate managerial distractions and reduce our expense run rate by approximately $700,000."

From the April 28, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash