Deal Watch: The making of an onion giant

| Print |  Email
Archives - June 2007
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

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president, plus an abridged Powerlist for the best commercial real estate firms.


Read more...

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


Read more...

Labor Pains

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Thinking about starting an internship program? Be careful. Navigating unpaid internships can be tricky.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


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