Harris Williams & Co. Advises GreenLine Foods in its Sale to Strategic Buyer Apio, Inc.

April 23, 2012

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, announces the sale of GreenLine Foods, Inc. (GreenLine), the largest provider of fresh-trimmed packaged green beans in North America, to strategic buyer Apio, Inc. (Apio). Apio is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landec Corporation (Landec; NYSE:LNDC). GreenLine was a portfolio company of The Riverside Company (Riverside). Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive advisor to GreenLine. The transaction closed on April 23, 2012 and was led by Glenn Gurtcheff, Tim Alexander, Jeff Cleveland and Brant Cash in the firm’s Consumer Group. 

“GreenLine maintains the #1 position in a fast growing value-added vegetable category and has established a widely recognizable consumer brand. The company occupies a unique position as the only year-round, nationwide processor of value-added green beans and the only processor with its own refrigerated distribution network. These strengths made GreenLine a strategic asset that is highly complementary to Apio’s existing product set and capabilities,” said Glenn Gurtcheff, a managing director and head of Harris Williams & Co.’s Consumer Group.

“The health conscious consumer is alive and well. GreenLine’s steady growth over the past 25 years has been driven by demand for the freshness and improved taste and texture that the company’s products offer.  In addition, GreenLine’s packaging innovations capitalize on consumer need for more easy-to-prepare and healthy food alternatives,” added Tim Alexander, a managing director at Harris Williams & Co.

Founded in 1985, GreenLine is North America’s largest and only nationwide provider of fresh-trimmed, washed and packaged green beans. With innovative processing and packaging capabilities, GreenLine was the creator of the value-added green bean market and has continued to expand its product offering to include wax beans, bean blends, sugar snap peas, French green beans, hydroponic lettuce, and other value added vegetable products. When GreenLine beans reach customers’ kitchens, they're trimmed and ready to cook, ensuring quick preparation, consistent quality and easy storage that outlasts traditional bulk product. The company operates manufacturing and/or distribution centers in Bowling Green, OH; Vero Beach, FL; Pico Rivera, CA; Chester, NY; Rock Hill, South CA; and Hanover, PA.

Riverside is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $200 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 280 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 75 companies, and it has $3.2 billion/€2.5 billion in assets under management.

Apio, founded in 1979, is today the leader in processing and marketing fresh-cut specialty packaged vegetables in the U.S. Headquartered in Guadalupe, CA, Apio sells its specialty packaged vegetable products and party tray products under the Eat Smart® brand. Apio’s fresh-cut specialty packaged vegetable products are unique in that they utilize the Landec BreatheWay® proprietary breathable packaging technology to extend the shelf life of specific produce. Landec, based in Menlo Park, CA, is a materials science company leveraging its proprietary polymer technologies for developing and commercializing new products in food, agricultural, biomedical and industrial markets. Landec acquired Apio in 1999.