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

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


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