Hain Pure Protein Corporation Closes on Sale of Kosher Valley® Brand to Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. in Exchange for Shares in Empire

PLAINVILLE, N.Y., May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Hain Pure Protein Corporation ("HPPC"), a joint venture between Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. , with 51.3% equity ownership, and The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), with 48.7% equity ownership,  today announced the sale of HPPC's Kosher Valley brand to Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. ("Empire"), one of the country's most established kosher poultry processors.  The Kosher Valley branded product, the first brand of certified kosher antibiotic-free (ABF), vegetarian fed and humanely raised all-natural branded chicken and turkey products, is expected to be produced in the Empire plant in Mifflintown, PA.  

"Kosher Valley will allow Empire to make strides in growing our company," said Greg A. Rosenbaum, Chief Executive Officer of Empire. "We're impressed with the work that Kosher Valley has done in developing their kosher ABF product line and in building its distribution.  The combined volume will improve operating efficiencies and allow us to offer a much wider choice of products to consumers."

Irwin Simon of Hain Celestial and Rodney Cohen of Pegasus Capital Advisors are expected to join Empire's Board of Directors.  Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  

Jefferies & Company, Inc. served as financial advisor to both HPPC and Empire for this transaction.

Kosher Valley's chicken breast cutlets were named "Best New Meat, Seafood or Poultry" at Kosherfest, the leading kosher food and beverage show in the United States in November, 2009.  Kosher Valley products are available at Whole Foods Market and other select upscale retailers.

Pegasus Capital Advisors

Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. is a private equity fund manager with offices in New York and Cos Cob, CT.  Founded in 1995, Pegasus provides capital to middle market companies across a wide range of industries, and has particular interest in businesses that make a meaningful contribution to society by positively affecting the environment, contributing to sustainability and enabling healthy living.  For more information, visit www.pcalp.com.

The Hain Celestial Group

The Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq: HAIN), headquartered in Melville, NY, is a leading natural and organic products company in North America and Europe. Hain Celestial participates in many natural categories with well-known brands that include Celestial Seasonings®, Earth's Best®, Terra®, Garden of Eatin'®, Health Valley®, Arrowhead Mills®, MaraNatha®, SunSpire®, DeBoles®, Gluten Free Cafe™, Hain Pure Foods®, Hollywood®, Spectrum Naturals®, Spectrum Essentials®, Walnut Acres Organic®, Imagine®, Almond Dream®, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®, Ethnic Gourmet®, WestSoy®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, Granose®, Realeat®, Linda McCartney®, Daily Bread™, Lima®, Grains Noirs®, Natumi®, JASON®, Zia® Natural Skincare, Avalon Organics®, Alba Botanica®, Queen Helene®, Tushies®, TenderCare® and Martha Stewart Clean™. Hain Celestial has been providing "A Healthy Way of Life™" since 1993. For more information, visit www.hain-celestial.com.

Empire Kosher Poultry

Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. is one of the most established Kosher poultry producers in the United States. With facilities in central Pennsylvania, Empire produces Kosher chickens and Kosher turkeys for the North American market through a fully integrated process, including breeder farms, egg hatcheries, a feed mill, grow out houses and processing facilities. Through this fully vertically integrated approach Empire continues to deliver the highest quality poultry products available anywhere. Empire products have won numerous national and international poultry taste-test competitions, and are available in supermarkets, warehouse clubs and butcher shops. For more information visit: www.empirekosher.com.

SOURCE Hain Pure Protein Corporation



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