Elior North America, subsidiary of Paris based Elior Group, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire fresh and frozen meal and snack maker Preferred Meals. Based in Berkeley, Ill., Preferred Meals serves more than 130 million meals annually in 30 states across the US, primarily to the education and senior dining markets, from 6 production kitchens and 13 distribution centers located across the US. Revenues were around $225 million in FY 2015.
Elior North America, which had been known until earlier this year as TrustHouse Services Group, had 2015 revenues of $637 million and placed No. 6 on FM’s 2016 top Contract Management Companies listing. It operates primarily in institutional segments, including the markets served by Preferred Meals, which will continue to operate under its current brand and be led by current President/CEO George Chivari, who will report directly to Elior North America President/CEO Brian Poplin.
“This acquisition is part of the company’s 2016-2020 strategic plan to accelerate development within growing markets,” said Elior Group Chairman/CEO Philippe Salle in a statement announcing the deal. “The US contract catering market offers significant opportunities, notably in the four niche segments in which we are currently positioned; the corrections, education, healthcare including seniors and premium business and industries. We intend to continue to expand there both organically and through acquisitions, and Preferred Meals fits perfectly into this strategy.”
“The addition of Preferred Meals to our portfolio takes us deeper into markets we currently serve and expands our offerings into new areas,” added Poplin. “In the education market, we will now be able to supply smaller schools, many of which have no kitchen or cafeteria, with prepared meals that do not require full kitchen facilities. And in the senior market, the addition of Preferred Meals strengthens our ability to provide prepared fresh and frozen meals for senior living facilities and expand our home meal delivery distribution.”