Innovative Food Acquires Artisan Specialty
Artisan Specialty Foods is a supplier of niche gourmet food products in the Chicago area. In 2011, Artisan had estimated unaudited sales of over $5.6 million (this figure also includes sales from Artisan to Innovative Food Holdings and affiliates) and adjusted estimated EBITDA of approximately $360,000. Artisan Specialty Foods warehouses over 1,200 items and distributes products to over 450 customers, including some of the finest foodservice establishments in the Chicago area. In addition, Artisan Specialty Foods operates a bulk repacking facility at its warehouse in Chicago which it currently utilizes for select products. The CEO of Artisan Specialty Foods, David Vohaska, will join Innovative Food Holdings as executive vice president of Artisan Specialty Foods and continue operating Artisan as a wholly owned subsidiary, reporting directly to senior management of Innovative Food Holdings. The transaction, which closed on May 18, is expected to be accretive to earnings immediately.
Sam Klepfish, CEO of Innovative Food Holdings, noted, "We intend to operate Artisan Foods as a wholly owned subsidiary which will allow it to continue to focus on its growing business while at the same time allowing Artisan to benefit from Innovative Food Holdings' centralized financial controls and operational expertise. We are particularly pleased that in addition to the long term benefits we believe Artisan Specialty Foods brings to Innovative Food Holdings, this transaction is expected to bring immediate financial benefits to Innovative Food Holdings' bottom line from both Artisan's additional sales and overall gross margin contributions."
Justin Wiernasz, president of the company, added, "We have known David and Artisan Specialty Foods for a long time and we are excited about the opportunity to benefit from the expected synergies, such as centralized geographic location, repacking operations and expanded procurement expertise that Artisan Specialty Foods offers. A key factor in our decision to acquire Artisan is our plan to leverage Artisan's existing product lines to expand Innovative Food Holdings' capabilities and offerings to a variety of new customers, products and new product areas. As a result, we believe that this acquisition provides Innovative Food Holdings with near term opportunities in several key specialty food market areas."
David Vohaska, founder and former CEO of Artisan Specialty Foods, said, "I am excited to be part of the Innovative Food Holdings family of companies. Having worked with Innovative Holdings over the last several years I believe that this acquisition will allow Artisan Specialty Foods to fully reach its potential. I look forward to working together with Innovative Food Holding's management and bringing my expertise and industry relationships to help further grow sales for the company."
From the May 22, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News