Bob Evans sells headquarters, production plants
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has sold its headquarters building in Columbus, Ohio and two Ohio-based production facilities to New Mill Capital LLC, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. The company is moving its headquarters to New Albany, Ohio.
The 77,000 sq. ft. headquarters building is one of the last buildings on the company's almost 40-acre campus to be sold. A trucking facility is the remaining property to be sold. The company recently sold a land behind the company's adjacent Bob Evans restaurant to A+ Children's Academy, which plans to expand its educational facilities, according to the company.
The food production facilities sold to New Mill Capital are in Springfield and Bidwell, Ohio. The company announced in May 2012 plans to close the two plants in late 2013. The 43,700 sq. ft. Bidwell plant sits on 7.8 acres and manufactures cooked sausage patties and links. The 38,200 sq. ft. Springfield plant sits on 10.7 acres and manufactures sausage, soups and gravies.
"New Mill Capital has a vast amount of experience repurposing properties such as the ones we have purchased from Bob Evans," said Gregory Schain, executive vice president for New Mill Capital. "We are investing in these properties because we are bullish on the economic outlook in these areas and the potential these properties hold for future tenancy. We are committed to investing the resources necessary to make these properties as functional as possible for modern use and look forward to working with local civic and business leaders to once again make these properties economic engines in their respective communities."
Bob Evans plans to lease the plants from New Mill until a final closing date is announced in late 2013.
"It is our intention that our headquarters and two plants will remain thriving entities in their respective communities," said Joe Eulberg, the Bob Evans executive responsible for the campus initiative. "We believe that New Mill Capital will be a strategic and solid partner, investing in these communities and properties to realize their full future potential."
In addition to news about the sale of its headquarters and other facilities, the company provided an update on its BEST to Invest in Ohio initiative.
The company's total investment in Ohio is currently $187 million. Bob Evans acquired Lima, Ohio-based Kettle Creations in August 2012, and in the fall began a nearly $27 million expansion that will add 50,000 sq. ft. to the facility. The company anticipates that the expansion will bring 70 new jobs by 2015.
Additionally, Bob Evans plans to accelerate its Farm Fresh Refresh remodeling program. The company will have remodeled 180 of its Ohio restaurants at the close of the company's fiscal year in April 2013 for a total investment of $43 million.
"We're increasing our investments in the great state of Ohio," said Steve Davis, Bob Evans Farms chairman and CEO. "We've proudly unveiled a fresh new look at nearly all our Ohio restaurants, we're doubling the size of our newly acquired foods plant in Lima, and we've taken positive steps toward a bright future for our corporate facility and two production plants in Springfield and Bidwell, thanks to the deal with New Mill."