IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Golden State Foods (GSF) announced today the completion of a deal by Wetterau Associates, the St. Louis investment group led by GSF Chief Executive Officer Mark Wetterau, to purchase the 50.3 percent stake in the company formerly held by its five-year business partner, The Yucaipa Companies. GSF is one of the top 10 food service distributors and processors in the United States and one of the largest full-line service providers to McDonald's. "This buyout will result in GSF becoming a 100 percent management-owned and run business -- a long-term dream of ours," said Mr. Wetterau. Wetterau Associates and The Yucaipa Companies acquired Golden State Foods in 1998, with Yucaipa as the majority stakeholder. The acquisition brought food industry veteran Mark Wetterau to the company to lead it into the new millennium. "When we came together in 1998, both Wetterau Associates and The Yucaipa Companies agreed that the partnership would be re-evaluated after a period of time, with the option of dissolution at that time. From the start, Wetterau Associates' interests in GSF have always been crystal clear: they have been and will continue to be long-term. Our equity will be 100 percent reinvested in the company with the ongoing intent of growing and enhancing GSF," Mr. Wetterau said. "This partnership has been highly effective, as Wetterau Associates has acted as the managing partner with Yucaipa in a supporting role," Wetterau continued. "Through the combined efforts from all our associates, we are proud of our collective success since 1998, as we have achieved our five-year strategic objectives. This success is a direct reflection of our wonderful customers, whom we greatly appreciate. And we believe that this success will continue to benefit our customers, suppliers, vendors and associates, especially as we move into this new ownership status," he said. "It's been a home run relationship. Our investment in the people of GSF has paid dividends for everyone. I look forward to the next opportunity we have to work with Mark (Wetterau) and the rest of the team," said Ron Burkle, Managing Partner of The Yucaipa Companies. "I've always emphasized that the greatest asset a company has is its people," Wetterau said. "In fact, great people can potentially turn an operation with even average assets into a great business. And we at Golden State Foods have the right people in the right places with the right structure and motivations in place to move forward with a high level of success. We work together as one to accomplish very focused objectives and goals. We are very excited about the future." Founded in 1947 in the Los Angeles area as a small meat company providing products to area restaurants and hotels, Golden State Foods teamed up with the fledgling McDonald's Corp. in the 1950s and grew into major player in the food processing and distribution industries. Today GSF is a diversified $2 billion corporation with approximately 2,400 employees worldwide. Visit www.goldenstatefoods.com for more information. For more information, please contact Gary Caloroso, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Max Martens, email@example.com, both of Porter Novelli, +1-310-444-7000; or Shellie Frey of Golden State Foods, +1-949-252-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Golden State Foods