At first glance, the impressive feature of the new Stuyver's production plant in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, is its wealth of variation. On closer inspection it turns out to be a model for the future that allows consistent quality, efficiency and flexibility to be linked together.
The Premium Brands Holding concept
Their preferred purchase targets are prestigious business operations belonging to successful entrepreneurs that are coming up to their limits because the next expansion steps cost more financially than is available, or because there is no willing successor. The assets must be right and it must be a food industry business.
Just over a decade ago George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands Holding, headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, founded a platform that offers such businesses a tailor-made solution to achieve a sale. Terms and conditions are negotiated on a customised basis and include a total sale as well as a part sale, although the owner must undertake an obligation to continue to be available to the business for a minimum period of three years. Paleologou says: “There are many businesses that are very successful but are too small to be bought up by the majors. They are in danger of disappearing from the market, and with that their knowledge and specialities are also lost. This would make the market poorer and more streamlined.”
That is also why Premium Brands does not see itself as a classical financial investor who wants to earn the purchase price after a few years and then vanish. According to Paleologou: “Our commitment is long-term, because that’s the only way to reap the rewards of the synergies and successes. Consolidating companies is not our aim, quite the opposite in fact and the intention is for each business to retain its personal identity. We earn our profits by providing companies with the capital to modernize and expand, and at the same time to network on the marketing and distribution side. That’s how we create added value, and in this way we have been able to earn average returns of 20% for our investors over the past five years.”
The holding company now owns 19 production operations and 7 distribution specialists, all originating from the food industry. Every week Paleologou screens more offers and checks them together with the heads of divisions. One of them is Ron Kleijn, who heads the bakery division and is currently organizing the transfer of Stuyver’s business. Between three and four takeovers are accomplished each year.
In this way Premium Brands has become one of the most important suppliers of meat, fish, baked goods and ready-made foods such as sandwiches, wraps, burgers etc. to restaurants and food service chains. The sales network extends from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to Washington, USA. In addition to producers and distributors, the Group also owns proprietary food distribution and wholesale networks through which it sells both its own products and those of third parties.
Acting together in this way, the individual food manufacturers, almost all of whom originated from medium-sized family businesses, gain better access not only to their traditional local markets but also to very large customers such as the chains with multinational operations.
The head office of Premium Brands Holding is currently located in the Vancouver catchment area on Canada’s west coast, and according to the Consolidated Financial Statement the market-listed group’s consolidated annual turnover in 2011 was around CAD 800m (approx. EUR 615m).
There is a firm plan for expansion within Canada and on the US-American market, although, according to Paleologou, with a sense of proportion. “The need of the markets for specialities and quality suits us very well. People are willing to pay more for that than for mass-produced goods. That’s why we marry artisan quality with efficiency and consistency, and we will remain in this field in the future as well.”
|Foodservice & Concessionary||Noble House Foods|
|Sandwiches, Pastries, Muffins, Sushi||Bread Garden Express|
|Nutritionally-balanced Hot School Lunches||Kids Eat|
|Sandwiches, Pastries, Muffins, Sushi||Creekside Custom Foods|
|Premium and Natural Processed Meats||Hempler's|
|Sandwiches, Subs, Hamburgers, and Specialty Products||Hygaard|
|Meat snacks and Pastries||McSweeney's|
|Sandwiches, Wraps, Burgers, Subs||Quality Fast Foods|
|Premium Processed Meats||Harvest Meats|
|Specialty Deli Products||Grimm's Fine Foods|
|Specialty Deli Products||Piller's|
|Premium Halal Foods||South Seas Meats|
|Sandwiches, Entres, Panini, and Wraps||SK Food Group|
|Beef Jerky and Halal||Made Rite|
|Premium Meats and Seafood||Multi-National Foods|
|Value added Fresh Seafood Processor||Hub City Fisheries|
|Sandwiches, Pastries, Meat Snacks||Deli Chef|
|Artisan Bread and Bread Roll specialties||Stuyver's|