Del Monte agrees to buy Mann Packing for $361m
A national produce chain based in Florida has agreed to buy Salinas-headquartered Mann Packing Co., Inc., both businesses announced Tuesday morning.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. has agreed to purchase Mann Packing for $361 million, said Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing at Mann.
“We wanted to work with a produce company, someone who knew the produce industry well and would be a win for both companies,” Nucci said.
Mann Packing, founded in 1939, employs about 600 employees at fresh produce facilities in Monterey County, including several in Salinas, and had about $535 million in sales last year, she said.
Del Monte doesn’t plan “any significant changes in the Mann Packing organization,” said Dionysios “Dennis” Christou, vice president of marketing at Del Monte, in an email Tuesday.
No changes are expected in the near future for Mann Packing’s operations, including a plant in Gonzales that’s under construction and set to open in June, Nucci said.
“(There are) currently no plans for any changes,” she said.
About 550 to 575 of Mann Packing’s employees are represented by the United Farm and Commercial Workers Local 5, said Pete Maturino, director of the union’s Agricultural Division.
Del Monte and Mann Packing spoke with workers Tuesday morning and said no layoffs are planned, he said. The company will also honor the latest 3-year contract, which lasts through 2020, he said.
Mann’s facilities would be Del Monte’s first in the Salinas Valley, Nucci said.
Del Monte’s net revenue was about $4 billion in 2016, when it had about 38,000 employees worldwide, Del Monte’s Christou said.
The purchase would give Del Monte more access to the produce market, which has grown recently as consumers seek healthy options, he said.
Del Monte’s size and global reach also could open up new markets and opportunities for Mann, Maturino said.
Smaller agriculture companies being bought by bigger ones has been happening more and more in recent years, said Dennis Donohue, a former mayor of Salinas who has worked in agriculture business and organizations since the 1980s, though not at Mann Packing or Del Monte.
Bigger companies are seeking to get into the fresh vegetable market, following consumers who want healthier foods and thus turn to produce, he said.
The purchase still has some regulatory hurdles to go through, though Del Monte and Mann Packing representatives say they hope to complete the deal by the end of March.
Mann is a family-run business that was founded in Salinas, known as the salad bowl of the world, in 1939. Agriculture adds about $4.5 billion to Monterey County’s economy, with one in four households drawing income related to agriculture, according to the Monterey County Farm Bureau.
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