SOURCE: Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

September 08, 2015 07:00 ET

Premium Brands Holdings Corporation Announces Investment in Expresco Foods

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - September 08, 2015) - Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (TSX: PBH), a diversified specialty food company, announced today that it has acquired a majority interest in Expresco Foods Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of high quality grilled protein products, including handmade specialty seasoned skewers, for customers in both the foodservice and retail channels.

Expresco, which sells its products across Canada and the U.S. under the West End brand, has annualized sales of approximately $55 million and operates out of a modern 44,000 square foot production facility located in Montreal, Quebec. It was founded in 1987 by Mr. Dennis Papakostas and, in recent years, has seen substantial growth due to its products meeting consumer demand for convenient, healthy and flavourful protein solutions that enhance and complement their daily meal, snack and salad choices.

"This transaction is another example of how we work with talented and successful entrepreneurs to create customized ownership solutions that meet their unique personal and business needs," said Mr. George Paleologou, President and CEO. "Dennis and his long-term business partner, George Tiritidis, have done an exceptional job in building Expresco and we are honored that they have chosen us to be their partners in the next evolution of its development.

"Looking forward, we will be working with Dennis and George to accelerate Expresco's growth through a number of capital and operational expansion initiatives including leveraging our extensive marketing and distribution infrastructures in both Canada and the US to expand its customer base, using our leading protein focused brands to increase Expresco's presence in the deli departments of small and large retailers, and incorporating Expresco's products into our sandwich products," added Mr. Paleologou.

"We chose to partner with Premium Brands based on their reputation for being fair and honorable and for their history of respecting the unique cultures of the businesses they invest in," said Mr. Papakostas. "I have no doubt that our company and our people are in good hands and that this new partnership will make Expresco into an even stronger company," added Mr. Papakostas.

"We are very proud of our great team, our unique culture and our reputation for producing exceptionally high quality products," said Mr. Tiritidis. "We have no doubt that the cultures of our respective companies will be a perfect fit since we share the same core values," added Mr. Tiritidis.

About Premium Brands

Premium Brands owns a broad range of leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nevada, Ohio and Washington State. The Company services a diverse base of customers located across North America and its family of brands and businesses include Grimm's, Piller's, Freybe, McSweeney's, Direct Plus, Audrey's, Quality Fast Foods, Hygaard, Bread Garden Go, SK Food Group, OvenPride, Deli Chef, Harvest, Hempler's, Isernio's, Creekside Bakehouse, Stuyver's, Duso's, Harlan Fairbanks, Centennial Foodservice, B&C Food Distributors, Shahir, Wescadia, Maximum Seafood, Ocean Miracle, Hub City Fisheries, Expresco and West End.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward looking statements with respect to the Company, including its business operations, strategy and financial performance and condition. These statements generally can be identified by the use of forward looking words such as "may", "could", "should", "would", "will", "expect", "intend", "plan", "estimate", "project", "anticipate", "believe" or "continue", or the negative thereof or similar variations.

Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward looking statements are reasonable and represent the Company's internal expectations and belief as of September 8, 2015, such statements involve unknown risks and uncertainties beyond the Company's control which may cause its actual performance and results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements.

Some of the factors that could affect future results and could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained herein include: (i) changes in the cost of raw materials used in the production of the Company's products; (ii) seasonal and/or weather related fluctuations in the Company's sales; (iii) reductions in consumer discretionary spending resulting from changes in economic conditions and/or general consumer confidence levels; (iv) changes in the cost of products sourced from third party manufacturers and sold through the Company's proprietary distribution network; (v) risks associated with changes in Canadian income tax laws; (vi) changes in the Company's relationship with its larger customers; (vii) potential liabilities and expenses resulting from defects in the Company's products; (viii) changes in consumer food product preferences; (ix) competition from other food manufacturers and distributors; (x) execution risk associated with the Company's growth initiatives; (xi) execution risk associated with the Company's business restructuring initiatives; (xii) risks associated with the Company's business acquisition strategies; (xiii) changes in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar; (xiv) new government regulations affecting the Company's business and operations; (xv) the Company's ability to raise the capital needed to fund its various growth initiatives; (xvi) labour related issues including potential labour disputes with employees represented by labour unions and labour shortages; (xvii) the loss of and/or the inability to attract key personnel; (xviii) fluctuations in interest rates charged on the Company's variable rate debt obligations which have not been hedged with interest rate swaps; (xix) a major disruption, failure, or breach of the Company's information technology systems; (xx) credit risk associated with the Company's major customers; (xxi) plant shutdowns, periods of reduced production, or unexpected interruptions in production capabilities as a result of equipment failures; (xxii) risks related to the health status of livestock which impact both the supply of raw materials to the Company's production facilities as well as consumer confidence in the Company's products; (xxiii) risks associated with international events that affect the price of food commodities or the free flow of food products between countries; (xxiv) changes in environmental, health and safety regulations under which the Company operates; and (xxv) risks associated with potential contamination during food processing. Details on these risk factors as well as other factors can be found in the Company's 2014 MD&A, which is filed electronically through SEDAR and is available online at www.sedar.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, the forward looking statements in this document are made as of September 8, 2015 and, except as required by applicable law, will not be publicly updated or revised. This cautionary statement expressly qualifies the forward looking statements in this press release.

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