US frozen food groups Twin City Foods and Smith Frozen Foods have signed a nonbinding agreement to merge into a single company called TCF Holdings, Inc.

The final terms of the merger are not yet complete, with the deal expected to close by the second quarter of this year.

Twin City Foods operates out of Washington state, while Smith Frozen Foods is headquartered in neighbouring Oregon.

Both are long-standing companies, with family-owned group Smith Frozen Foods founded in 1919 and Twin City Foods set up in 1945.

In a joint statement, both groups said the partnership allowed for “a strategic alignment of resources and capabilities to meet customers’ needs and meet market demand more effectively while supporting local farmers”.

The move was also said to “bring improved capabilities and efficiencies”.

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Dale Goyer, the COO of Twin City Foods, described the news as “a pivotal moment” for the business as it “[takes] a significant step in the path of strategic growth”.

Smith Frozen Foods CEO Gary Crowder added: “We expect customers to benefit from the synergies that the two companies will realise through the combination.”

Both companies produce a range of frozen vegetables. Smith’s frozen line includes corn, peas, carrots, lima beans, onions, green garbanzo beans and mixed vegetables.

Twin City’s portfolio is similar, featuring frozen green peas, sweet corn, carrots, green beans, and baby lima beans.

It also processes “additional vegetable varieties” for custom orders. Just Food has asked the group to confirm which frozen goods are included in this range.

The group has three processing facilities in Washington and Michigan. It also owns four cold storage sites that can collectively hold up to 137 million pounds of frozen vegetables.

Twin City formerly owned a site in Stanwood, Washington, which was closed in 2017 and purchased by the Canadian alternative-protein co-manufacturer No Meat Factory earlier this month.

Smith Frozen Foods produces more than 130 million pounds of frozen goods, with its produce making up between 8% and 15% of the frozen corn, peas and dice carrots sold in the US.

Just Food has asked the company to disclose the number of production sites it owns as well as where these are located.

Both groups have also been asked to confirm which retailers they supply and where they are based.