SEOUL, South Korea – CJ CheiJedang, the food business unit of South Korea’s CJ Group, has acquired an 80 percent majority stake in the Schwan Co., Minneapolis, for approximately $1.84 billion.
The acquisition includes the Schwan Co. and its subsidiaries that focus on food sold in the retail and food service channels. The Schwan family will retain a 20 percent equity stake in the food and retail business and maintain 100 percent ownership of Schwan’s home-delivery business.
Brands that are a part of the transaction include Edwards, Freschetta, Mrs. Smith’s, Pagoda, Red Baron, Schwan’s and Tony’s.
CJ CheiJedang is a manufacturer of dumplings and noodles, some of which are sold under the Bibigo brand and generated approximately $14,582 million in sales in 2017. Prior to the acquisition, the company had five manufacturing plants in the United States. Once the deal is complete, its manufacturing footprint will grow to 22 plants.
In addition to expanding CJ CheiJedang’s product portfolio into the frozen pizza, pie and appetizer categories, the company said it will soon be introducing an Asian foods line in the United States. It has plans to extend its reach into Canada and Mexico.
“By becoming a part of an innovative, global team such as CJ CheilJedang, Schwan’s will be positioned to achieve new levels of growth in the spirit of the vision put forth by my father, Marvin Schwan, so many years ago,” said Paul Schwan, a board member with the Schwan Co.