Chef Solutions, Inc.

Manufactures and distributes prepared foods and bakery products to the retail and foodservice industry in North America.

Transaction Overview

  • Represented I&K Distributors, Inc., a subsidiary of Chef Solutions, in its sale to Countryside Foods, LLC., a portfolio company of Ramex, Inc.
  • Chef Solutions operated as a non-core division of German airline Lufthansa until it was acquired by Questor Management Company in 2004.  Questor reversed Lufthansa’s strategy by “re-divisionalizing” Chef Solutions along its legacy business lines – Pennant Foods, Orval Kent Foods, and I&K Distributors.  Chef Solutions’ core strategy revolved around food manufacturing.  We were retained to arrange the divestiture of I&K Distributors, a non-core subsidiary engaged in distribution and manufacturing.
  • I&K distributes refrigerated food products to grocery retailers throughout the Midwest.  In addition to well-known national brands, I&K offers specialty items that add freshness and variety to the refrigerated sections of its customers’ deli, dairy, bakery and meat departments.  I&K employs over 400 employees at its automated distribution center in Delphos, Ohio, and at nine remote depots.

Key Observations

  • Certain products that had long been central to I&K’s product array – including Yoders® deli salads and side dishes and Michigan Brand® cottage cheese – had been transferred to Orval Kent Foods, another subsidiary of Chef Solutions.  The relationship between the two subsidiaries was, in effect, one of supplier and customer.
Hennepin Partners LLC