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Coastal Companies acquires Lancaster Foods, expanding produce empire

Lancaster Foods becomes fourth subsidiary of The Coastal Companies

The Coastal Companies acquired Lancaster Foods, a retail produce distributor, from Fairfax, Va.-based Guest Services, a hospitality management company. Founded in 1986, Lancaster Foods becomes the fourth produce subsidiary of The Coastal Companies, which already owns Coastal Sunbelt Produce, East Coast Fresh and Hearn Kirkwood.

With the acquisition of Lancaster Foods, The Coastal Companies expands its retail presence. Meanwhile, Lancaster Foods will penetrate new grab-and-go, ready-to-eat and prepared foods categories. Jessup, Md.-based Lancaster foods will continue to operate as a separate operating unit & subsidiary. Its CEO, John Gates, joins The Coastal Companies Executive Leadership Team and Board of Director. He’ll also continue to lead Lancaster Foods,

The deal was made possible through its parent, Continental Grain, a global investor, owner and operator of companies, and its investment partners. These included the investment arm of Rabobank.

Investment bank Harris Williams, a subsidiary of PNC Financial Services Group, advised Lancaster Foods in the deal. Tim Alexander, Brant Cash, Brant Wilczek, and Robert Wilson of the Harris Williams Consumer Group led the efforts of the transaction team in its advisory.

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“Lancaster Foods shares our values of quality and service,” said John Corso, CEO of The Coastal Companies. “This transaction pairs Lancaster’s leading position in retail with our leading position in foodservice to significantly expand The Coastal Companies’ market reach, sourcing and value-added capabilities.”

The acquisition of Lancaster Foods takes The Coastal Companies to a new milestone: a total of four facilities, 650,000+ square feet of cold storage and processing, and expansive market reach stretching from Maine to Florida. Lancaster Foods’ location off I-95N is also ideal for logistics purposes and interacting with its sister companies.

“The Coastal Companies becomes the preeminent resource for produce distribution, processing, and prepared foods on the East Coast,” said the company in a statement.

Photo credit: Lancaster Foods (logo)

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