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CHELSEA, Mass.-It took more than three years, but HP Hood has finally acquired Crowley Foods and Kemps.
Officials at Hood and Crowley confirmed this week that the acquisition has taken place, but have not yet provided much in the way of details. Dairy Foods reported in December that National Dairy Holdings, Dallas, was in the process of selling the units. The new company, called HP Hood LLC, will be based in Chelsea and led by Hood Chairman and President John A. Kaneb. With combined annual revenues of about $2.1 billion, it will now be one of the top 10 dairy companies in North America.
Hood, Crowley and Kemps will continue to manufacture and distribute their branded and licensed products as they did before the acquisition. Crowley and Kemps, (formerly Marigold) will each continue to be led by their management teams. Jim Green, president and CEO of Kemps, and Marty Margherio, president and CEO of Crowley, will report to John A. Kaneb.
Hood first expressed an interest in Crowley as early as 2000 when Wessanen, NV, announced plans to divest its U.S. holdings. Hood was particularly interested in Crowley, which is based in Binghamton, N.Y., and has a number of plants in the Northeast. But both units instead became part of the founding acquisitions of National Dairy, which bought up enough dairies around the country to make it the No. 2 fluid milk processor in the United States after Dean Foods. Kemps is based in Minneapolis. With the transaction, Hood will likely vault past National Dairy and several other processors to become the No. 2 milk seller in the U.S.
Hood and National Dairy attempted a merger in 2002 but it was blocked by federal trade regulators. Subsequently, the two companies were operating under a limited partnership for the past year.