Mergers & Acquisitions (Oct. 22)

AIT Worldwide Logistics, Itasca, IL, acquired Worldfresh Express, a Los Angeles-based freight forwarder specializing in perishable food products. The acquisition expands AIT’s cold chain capabilities by adding specialized operational knowledge, as well as a 13,800-sq. ft. temperature-controlled facility on the West Coast.

The Andersons Inc., Maumee, OH, will acquire Lansing Trade Group, an Overland Park, KS-based company focused on the movement of agricultural commodities. As part of the deal, The Andersons will acquire the 67.5% of Lansing it does not already own for approximately

$305 million. The acquisition will strengthen and broaden The Andersons’ grain business, extend its specialty food and feed product offerings, and further diversify its portfolio.

Canada-based Cott Corp. acquired The Mountain Valley Spring Co., Little Rock, AR, from Great Range Capital, Mission Woods, KS. The $78.5 million deal was conducted through DS Services, a Cott subsidiary, and is part of the company’s aim to build out its water solutions portfolio that includes pursuing acquisitions in the water and coffee markets. Mountain Valley has a production facility in Hot Springs, AR, and four protected and owned springs in the Ouachita Mountains.

Hearthside Food Solutions, Downers Grove, IL, agreed to acquire Greencore USA, a Woodridge, IL-based frozen contract packager and producer of refrigerated, fresh-made sandwiches, entrees and salad kits. Greencore USA is the U.S. unit of Ireland-based Greencore Group PLC, and operates 13 locations across North America. The acquisition expands the Hearthside network to 38 production facilities in the U.S. and Europe, enabling the company to expand into new product categories.

Four Corners Property Trust, Mill Valley, CA, acquired a dual-tenant Starbucks and Noodles & Co. restaurant for $2.4 million from Preit. The property is located in Maryland.

Mi9 Retail, Miami, FL, will acquire Mywebgrocer, Colchester, VT. MyWebGrocer bolsters the existing Mi9 offering with new e-commerce, order management, and click-and-collect functionality, while MyWebGrocer customers will gain access to Mi9’s demand management, price and promotions management, and retail analytics solutions.

Newell Brands, Hoboken, NJ, sold Waddington Group, a Covington, KY-based commercial package manufacturer, to Novolex Holdings, Hartsville, SC. Waddington Group is a global manufacturer and marketer of packaging and disposables servicing the foodservice, bakery, deli, produce and confectionary markets through a network of 16 facilities across the U.S., Canada and Europe…Cincinnati Business Courier (Oct. 12).

For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.