Pinnacle to close Evol plant

by Monica Watrous
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Evol products, Pinnacle Foods, Boulder Brands
Pinnacle added the Evol brand of frozen meals and snacks as part of its Boulder Brands acquisition earlier this year.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Pinnacle Foods said it will close its Evol plant in Boulder, Colo., and transfer production to an existing Pinnacle facility in Fayetteville, Ark. Pinnacle, which added the Evol brand of frozen meals and snacks as part of its Boulder Brands acquisition earlier this year, cited limited manufacturing capacity at the Boulder site to accommodate the growing business. Certain Evol products will continue to be produced at contract manufacturers with specialized capabilities. Pinnacle expects the Boulder plant to close in the first quarter of 2017.

“While it’s never an easy decision to close a manufacturing plant, this action will ensure the long-term success of the Evol brand,” said Mike Wittman, executive vice-president and chief supply chain officer. “We are thankful to the employees at the Evol plant and value the many contributions they have made to the business.”

Approximately 85 employees will be affected by the closing and are encouraged to apply for open positions at other Pinnacle plants, including a nearby facility in Denver.

Evol plant in Boulder, Colorado
Approximately 85 employees will be affected by the closing of the Evol plant in Boulder, Colo.

Meanwhile, Pinnacle announced plans to invest in the Fayetteville facility to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities and hire approximately 25 employees.

Pinnacle on Jan. 15 completed its acquisition of Boulder Brands in a transaction valued at approximately $975 million, including approximately $265 million in debt. In the recent quarter, the company posted a bigger-than-expected boost from the addition of the business, which also includes Udi’s, Glutino and Smart Balance brands. Pinnacle net sales in the second quarter ended June 26 increased nearly 20% to $756,381,000, with Boulder contributing $122,607,000 in sales. Net earnings of $45,783,000, or 39c per share on the common stock, rose 5% from $43,679,000, or 38c per share, in the previous year’s second quarter.

Boulder Brands acquired Boulder-based Evol Foods in 2013 for $48 million from company founder Phil Anson and a group of investors. Offering a range of frozen single-serve and multi-serve meals, burritos, street tacos and breakfast sandwiches, Evol has positioned itself as a brand serving the simple, clean label market. 
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