ST. LOUIS — Bunge North America has acquired the assets of Mid-Atlantic Vegetable Shortening, Inc., Kearny, N.J.

Mid-Atlantic packages edible oil and supplies customers in the baking, food processing and food service business in the Northeast. The company’s products include liquid oils, shortening, margarine and butter blend. The company also packages rehydrated garlic and other spice products.

The acquisition will give Bunge increased access to customers in the Northeast, the nation’s largest edible oil market, said Rodney Perry, vice-president and general manager of Bunge Oils.

"Mid-Atlantic’s location also allows Bunge to more effectively serve our existing customers in this region and reach new customers," he said.

Bunge said it plans to retain most of the staff at Mid-Atlantic, including brothers Calvin Theobald and Perry Theobald, who established Mid-Atlantic in 1983 with another brother, Richard. Richard Theobald died in March 2008 at the age of 56 from complications of diabetes and a brain tumor.

Bunge North America is the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd., White Plains, N.Y. The company operates several food oil refineries and packaging plants in the United States and Canada. Within the United States, Bunge’s facilities principally are located in the eastern half of the nation.

The company sources soybean and canola oil from Bunge’s Oilseed Processing unit and further refines it into shortening, margarine and salad and cooking oils.