$1.3 Billion AdvancePierre Foods Emerges

Pierre Foods, Advance Food Co. and Advance Brands LLC on Sept. 30 completed their merger to form AdvancePierre Foods, with approximately $1.3 billion in net sales. The new company is owned by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, current Advance shareholders and members of the company's leadership team.

Advance Brands itself is a joint venture between Advance Food Co. and Cargill Meat Solutions.

Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, BMO Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank led the financing syndication. More than 75 lenders are part of the syndicate, and normal working capital needs will be satisfied by Wells Fargo.

AdvancePierre Foods will supply value-added protein and handheld convenience products to the foodservice, school, retail, club, vending and convenience store markets. The portfolio includes packaged sandwiches, fully cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, breaded beef, pork and poultry, and bakery products.

The company is headquartered in Cincinnati, where Pierre Foods was, and some divisional leadership is based in Oklahoma. Pierre Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-2008. AdvancePierre Foods operates protein processing facilities in Oklahoma, Ohio and Iowa as well as sandwich assembly facilities in North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The company also operates bakeries in North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Bill Toler, current CEO of Pierre Foods, is the CEO of the new company. The management team for AdvancePierre Foods includes executives from all three companies.

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