Equity firm doubles down on Smittcamps with Lyons deal

November 14, 2017

The Business Journal

A private equity firm with offices in New York and San Mateo has announced a strategic investment in Fresno-based Lyons Magnus, producer of food-service products including fruit toppings, sauces, juices and syrups.

The financial terms of the investment by Paine Schwartz Partners was not disclosed. Bob Smittcamp, whose family has owned Lyons Magnus for more than 46 years, will continue to lead operations as chairman and CEO. He will also remain a “significant” shareholder in the company, according to a news release.

The executive team of Lyons Magnus — Kent Walrack, Jim Davis, Kris Porter, Jon Parker, Phil James, Brad Kirk and Steve Twet — will continue in their current roles in the business.
In a statement, Smittcamp said, “My family and I have dedicated the last 46-plus years to growing Lyons Magnus, and I believe that our decision to partner with the team from Paine Schwartz will help take our Company to the next level. Paine Schwartz brings extensive experience and understanding of the fruit business and the food-service industry. I want to thank our strong team of dedicated and long-term employees, who played an important role in building Lyons Magnus into an industry leader. With the benefit of additional expertise and resources from Paine Schwartz, we look forward to continuing to provide customers with the high quality and unique portfolio of products they expect from us.”

This strategic investment deepens Smittcamp’s relationship with Paine Shwartz Partners, as the equity firm previously made a strategic investment in Wawona Packing Co., the peach farming and packing operation founded by Bob Smittcamp’s father, Earl, in 1948.

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Ripon plant will keep making cow health products under new owner

The Modesto Bee
By John Holland

RIPON – The La Belle Inc. plant here makes cattle health products from colostrum, the stuff cows feed their newborns before the regular milk starts flowing.

The 30-employee operation could get bigger with its sale last month to PanTheryx, based in Boulder, Colo. The buyer plans upgrades that would make the East Fourth Street plant a bigger player in this low-profile niche of the dairy industry.

PanTheryx will close the La Belle headquarters plant in Bellingham, Wash., later this year and plans to move many of its 25 employees to Ripon and Phoenix, the Bellingham Herald reported.

All mammals produce colostrum, which provides their babies with nourishment and immunity against disease in the hours after birth. The Ripon site buys the excess from more than 500 dairy farmers in California, plant manager John Lehr said during a tour for The Modesto Bee last week.

The raw product is frozen on the farms in 4-gallon buckets, then is turned into a powder through what Lehr called “proprietary thermal treatment” at the plant. It then adds vitamins and vanilla flavoring and sells the packaged items to veterinarians and other users in the United States and beyond.

The roughly 20,000-square-foot plant operates under a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Above: Employee Roberto Ramirez processes a dairy cattle health supplement made from colostrum, the first nourishing fluid secreted by a mother cow before milk production, in Ripon on Thursday. The plant has been operated by La Belle, which was acquired in February by PanTheryx, based in Boulder, Colo. John Holland jholland@modbee.com

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/news/business/agriculture/article136850958.html#storylink=cpy

Survey: US manufacturing grew again in April

The Modesto Bee
By Paul Wiseman, AP Economic Writer
May 2, 2016

WASHINGTON-U.S. manufacturing expanded in April for the second straight month, suggesting that factories are adapting to a strong dollar and economic weakness overseas, according to a private survey.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 50.8 last month, down from March’s 51.8 reading but above the 50 threshold that signals growth. The March number had snapped a five-month losing streak for manufacturers.

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