Pierre Foods and Advance Food to Merge

Pierre Foods, Inc., and Advance Food Co., Inc., have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The combined company will be called Advance Pierre Foods and creates a leading supplier of value-added protein and handheld convenience food products to the foodservice, school, retail, club, vending and convenience store channels.

The transaction is expected to close within the next two months and is subject to customary closing conditions. Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, LP, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, the current majority shareholder of Pierre Foods, will maintain a majority share of the combined company. The current shareholders of Advance Food, the Allen and McLaughlin families, will own a minority share.

Bill Toler, current CEO of Pierre Foods, will serve as CEO of the newly combined company, which will market a full line of packaged sandwiches, fully cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, breaded beef, pork, and poultry and bakery products. Mark Allen, current president of Advance Food, will run the division focused on foodservice and school channels.