King's Hawaiian secures $135 million in financing
by Eric Schroeder
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NORWALK, CONN. — King’s Hawaiian, a Torrance, Calif.-based maker of bread and rolls, has secured $135 million in senior secured financing from GE Capital, Corporate Finance. The financing will be used to expand the company’s production capacity and for working capital.
Founded in Hilo, Hawaii, in 1950, King’s Hawaiian is a family-owned and operated business that makes Hawaiian products, including the original Hawaiian sweet dinner roll. The company operates baking facilities in Torrance and Oakwood, Ga.
“GE understands our needs because of our longstanding relationship, and this has allowed them to successfully structure three separate credit facilities,” said Mark Taira, chief executive officer of King’s Hawaiian. “In addition to structuring expertise, we also value having a lender with deep knowledge of the food and consumer packaged goods markets.”
From 2003 to 2010, King’s Hawaiian steadily invested in upgrading its two West coast bakeries on an annual basis, but as the popularity for its iconic products expanded coast to coast, the company opened a $45 million facility in Oakwood in 2011 to increase capacity and lower shipping costs.
Originally, King’s Hawaiian projected the facility would begin to reach capacity by 2015, but demand for the nation’s largest roll producer’s bread and rolls jumped as household penetration and frequency of purchase continued to rise beyond expectations.
Last year, the company broke ground to double the size of its existing Oakwood bakery during the first half of this year. By 2015, King’s Hawaiian will open another facility — 120,000 square feet — that will house an additional production line. In all, the company projects it will spend $100 million on its Georgia hub since moving there in 2011.