King’s Hawaiian tripling production capacity in Georgia

by Eric Schroeder
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OAKWOOD, GA. — King’s Hawaiian will undertake a significant expansion of its Oakwood operations, including a tripling of its production capacity in two projects: an expansion of its current facility to double that facility’s production and the addition of a new approximately 120,000-square-foot plant.

During 2014 and 2015, the company said it plans to add about 300 additional jobs for a total of almost 500 jobs in Oakwood. By the end of 2014, the company’s investment in Hall county, Ga., will exceed $100 million since its arrival in 2011.

Financing for the expansion has been completed with GE Capital leading and Manufacturer’s Bank and Farm Credit participating. Advising King’s Hawaiian on the financing were Seyfarth Shaw for legal, Avison Young for real estate and Stifel Nicolaus for investment banking.

Founded in 1950, in Hilo, Hawaii, by Robert Taira, the company is still owned by the Taira family. Robert’s son, Mark, has led the company since the early 1980s. The company operates two other bakery facilities and two restaurants in Southern California. In 2010, after reviewing opportunities in several eastern states to build a new facility, the company picked Oakwood, in Hall county, and completed its bakery there in late 2011.

“Our experience in Oakwood, Hall county and the state of Georgia has been extremely positive,” said Mark Taira, chief executive officer of King’s Hawaiian. “We have been able to hire terrific associates here and are impressed with local officials’ ability to partner with business and to create win-win experiences for Georgia citizens and companies. In fact we are so impressed that our plans are to have a majority of our employees working in Oakwood by about 2014 or 2015.”
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