Home Archives June 2007 Deal Watch: The making of an onion giant

Deal Watch: The making of an onion giant

| Print |  Email
Friday, June 01, 2007

onions0607.jpg

There were no tears shed when two Hermiston onion companies joined forces in April. With the help of capital from Dallas-based CIC Partners, Bob Hale’s American Onion and Joe Graziano’s Rivergate Farms merged to form River Point Farms, which, they’re saying (and so far nobody has called them out on it) is now the largest grower and processor of yellow, red and sweet onions. Hale won’t say how much he expects in sales this year, only that 500 year-round employees will produce 400 million pounds of River Point onions.

It was a match made in vegetable heaven. Graziano, whose family’s produce trucks have been a fixture in Oregon for generations, claims the nickname “the Onion King.” In 2003 (three years after selling his produce business to Del Monte) he introduced a new way of cutting oinions to increase their shelf-life. Hale, meanwhile, was actively going after the fast-casual restaurant chain business. The two worked closely together, American growing the onions, Rivergate cutting them up. As Hale puts it: “It made sense to roll the companies together.”

Enter CIC, a bunch of former restaurant guys (other CIC investments include Quiznos and the largest TGI Fridays franchise) who recognized the opportunity. What’s next for River Point? Hale, the new company’s president, points out that the onion business is “highly fragmented.” Translation: Watch this space for future onion acquisitions.
— Christina Williams

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS

ANNOUNCED BUYER (HQ) REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) SELLER PRICE
1-May International Airport Centers LLC (IL) industrial facility (Fairview) Fairview Development LLC (Fairview) $17m
30-Apr RE No One LLC Hillsboro Promenade (Hillsboro) Hillsboro Promenade LLC $10.1m
25-Apr Unico Properties LLC (WA) and JP Morgan Investment Management Reflections of Summer Creek (Beaverton) Undisclosed private entity $37m
24-Apr Richard J. Bennett industrial property (Portland) Weston William McGaa Irrevocable Trust $1.9m
17-Apr Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust (Toronto) 2 retail centers (Portland & Albany) SmartCentres of Toronto $35m
13-Apr ScanlanKemperBard Companies LLC (Portland) office building (CO) ND $45.55m
4-Apr Guardian Management LLC (Portland) residential apartments (WA) ND ND
4-Apr Clackamas County industrial building (Oregon City) RS 7 LLC $3.68m
2-Apr Guardian Management LLC (Portland) residential apartments (AZ) ND ND

 


MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

ANNOUNCED EXP. CLOSE BUYER (HQ STATE) / PARENT SELLER (HQ) / PARENT PRICE (TERMS)
1-May Q2 ‘ 07 Cascade Corporation (Fairview) American Compaction Equipment (CA) ND
1-May Q2 ‘ 07 MSI-PRO Co. (North Plains)/Jewett-Cameron Trading Company Ltd. new product lines ND
30-Apr ND Aventura Resorts (WA) RV resort (Mosier) ND
24-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 CIC Partners (TX) American Onion; Rivergate Farms, LLC (Hermiston) ND
21-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 Brookfield Asset Management (Toronto) Longview Fibre Co. (WA) $2.15b
16-Apr Q3 ‘07 Ruth’s Chris Steak House (FL) Portland franchised restaurant ~$4.5m
16-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 Chockstone (Portland) Peppercoin (MA) ND
11-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 Undisclosed investment group Jackson & Perkins business (Medford)/Harry & David Holdings $21m (cash+earn-out)
4-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 SP Industries/Riverlake Partners LLC (Portland) Genevac Ltd. (England)/Thermo Fisher Scientific ND
3-Apr Q2 ‘07 Tougi (Portland)/Nettel Holdings HTD Co. (Vietnam) ND
2-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 UxComm (Beaverton) Virtugo Software (CA) ND
2-Apr Q2 ‘ 07 McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants (Portland) The Boathouse restaurants/Spectra Group of Great Restaurants (Vancouver, BC) $14.3m
30-Mar Q2 ‘07 GreenWood Tree Farm L.P./Portland poplar tree farm (Boardman) /Potlatch Corporation $65m

 

CAPITAL RAISING

ANNOUNCED COMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIP INVESTOR PRICE
16-Apr Collaborative Software Initiative (Portland)/Stuart Cohen, CEO OVP Venture Partners ND
10-Apr Ensequence (Portland)/Dalen Harrison, CEO ND $40m (Series C)
10-Apr iovation (Portland)/Greg Pierson, President, CEO & Founder ND ND (Series A)


List researched by Mark Druskoff

NA=NOT DISCLOSED


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


Read more...

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

Constant Contact

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

To prevent burnout, companies are banning email and after-hours communications. But is the 24-hour workday here to stay?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS