US: National chain Bob Evans buying Mars Hill potato company

William Haggett, chairman and CEO of Pineland Farms Potato Co., said, “We have made tremendous strides in Maine, but there are practical limitations on how much further current owners would be able to take this business.”   Bob Evans, the family-dining chain that dots highways across America, is getting out of the restaurant business to focus on food processing. And it’s taking an Aroostook County potato company along with it. In a two-part transaction, Bob Evans Farms Inc. sold off its chain of restaurants Tuesday to an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital for $565 million, according to a news release posted on the Ohio company’s website. On the same day, it signed an agreement to acquire Pineland Farms Potato Co. in Mars Hill for $115 million. In its release, the company said the deals start a new era for Bob Evans, where it can focus exclusively on its growing food processing business. “The new Bob Evans, further strengthened by the manufacturing and intellectual capital of (Pineland Farms Potato Co.), is positioned to be a higher profit and higher growth company that is expected to provide better returns to shareholders and an enhanced product line for customers.” More