Business

Craigavon food firm Evron is gobbled up by US giant

EXPANSION: A total of 50 jobs could be created at Evron Foods Group in Craigavon
Gary McDonald Business Editor

CRAIGAVON chilled foods firm Evron Foods has been bought over by a fourth-generation company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bama Companies Inc has completed the acquisition of Evron and is sister firm EasiBake Foods for an undisclosed sum.

Evron, founded more than 35 years ago, specialises in high volume production of frozen and chilled bakery products including baguettes and garlic bread for leading retailers, foodservice and manufacturing customers.

It operates from purpose built bakeries in Craigavon and at Pontypool in South Wales, where it operates on-site frozen and chilled storage for onward distribution to UK customers and to countries throughout Europe, USA and the Middle East.

Its latest set of accounts show that Evron had sales of close to £50 million and has more than 400 staff on its payroll.

Founded in Texas in 1927, Bama Companies Inc has factories in the USA, China and Europe, producing two million biscuits a day as well as handheld pies, buns, pie shells and pizza crusts for customers all over the world.

Bama acquired an initial 25 per cent in Evron two years ago, but has now taken complete ownership.

Paula Marshall, owner and chief executive of Bama, and Morris Evans, chief executive of Evron/EasiBake, said they felt the cultural fit was obvious between the businesses when strategic discussions began.

They say the deal brings together two businesses with a common heritage of being privately held and family operated with a focus on serving team members, customers, suppliers, and communities.

The expanded company is unique in its geographic synergy in Northern Ireland, Wales, Poland, the US and China, with a product range that includes breads, rolls, pies, southern style biscuits, and hotcakes and supply deals with leading quick service restaurants and retailers.

Morris Evans said: “It's not the easiest step to move away from something you've built with love, care and affection, but Paula's future vision for this business convinced me we have created the perfect fit to propel Evron/Easibake into the future.”

Bama's Richard Cooper, based in London, will assume oversight responsibility for the Evron and EasiBake businesses and will continue his role in the same capacity for Bama Europa in Wroclaw, Poland.

He said: “The strategic fit between Evron/EasiBake and Bama is compelling from team member skills to product capabilities to customer portfolio. It's a great combination at the right time. Coupling those skills with a focus on consumer and market insights will be a winning combination.”

Paula Marshall added: “This transaction will allow tremendous opportunities for Evron/EasiBake team members to share their unique skills with Bama colleagues while particularly Bama Europe team members can like share their know how of the current Bama customer set.

“For Bama team members in the US, it's a chance to recognise, grow, and support the tremendous opportunities we have to expand our footprint geographically with our customers. It's an exciting time.”

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