LAKE SUCCESS, NY – The Hain Celestial Group Inc. has acquired the remaining 80 percent it did not already own of EK Holdings Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Mifflintown, Pa. – based Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. The Empire acquisition deal is valued at $57.6 million, which includes net debt that was repaid at closing.

Empire purchased Kosher Valley, the first brand of certified kosher antibiotic-free, vegetarian fed and humanely raised all natural branded chicken and turkey products, in May 2010 from Hain Pure Protein Corporation; at which time HPPC received a 19 percent interest in Empire.

Hain Celestial has more than 2,000 products that are kosher certified in its branded portfolio of natural and organic products. A full range of kosher antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and turkey products, including fresh tray-pack, frozen, deli, fully cooked, gluten-free and organic products, is offered by Empire in the United States, as well as the Kosher Valley brand, which is sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market. In 2014, Empire achieved more than $100 million in net sales and it is expected to be accretive to Hain Celestial's earnings in fiscal year 2016.

"We are excited with our strategic acquisition of Empire, the leading kosher, antibiotic-free poultry brand in the US, and welcome Jeff Brown and the Empire team to Hain Celestial,” said Irwin Simon, founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial. “We plan to expand the product offerings into deli, fresh-prepared foods and other grocery categories."

Brown, CEO, will continue to oversee daily operations of Empire and he will report to Simon.