PLANT CITY, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Paradise, Inc. (OTCBB:PARF – news), the oldest and largest producer of glace fruit and a manufacturer of molded-plastic products, today announced it has retained New York-based CLB Partners, LLC to help the company explore acquisition opportunities.

CLB Partners, a prominent financial advisory services firm for middle market companies, will work with Paradise to identify potential companies and assist with the acquisition and/or merger process of qualified candidates.

Headquartered in Florida, Paradise, Inc. has two separate divisions including the larger Paradise Fruit Company, whose brands account for 75-80% of all glace fruit sold to commercial bakeries, supermarkets and other grocery outlets in the U.S. Candied fruit is the primary ingredient used in fruitcakes and other confections. Paradise brand names include Paradise, Dixie, Mor-Fruit, White Swan, and Sun-Ripe. The company is licensed to use several other trademarked brand names, and packs several supermarket private labels. Its second division, Paradise Plastics, molds containers for the Company’s candied fruit, and packaging for other food, agriculture and medical products. In recent years, the division’s focus has been on the custom design, engineering and molding of both light and heavy gauge components for a variety of industries.

Eugene L. Weiner, executive vice president, treasurer and secretary, is heading the company’s corporate development activities. He stated that Paradise is looking to expand the business through acquisitions, mergers, or strategic alliances within its core competencies. “Given our market position with our primary food product, organic growth is limited to some extent,” stated Weiner. “Ideally, we would like to build both the food and the plastics sides of the business via new, but related, high margin, value-added products.” Weiner indicated the company is primarily interested in acquiring a manufacturer of thermoformed plastics and/or specialty food processors of wet or dry products.

In addition to its Candied Fruit division, Paradise also has strong capabilities within its plastics group. The molded plastics industry is large and diverse, and Paradise Plastics concentrates on niche markets where engineering, precision and state-of-the-art equipment are critical. Today, Paradise focuses on providing value-added products to its clients and offers a variety of services including thermoforming, injection molding, and printing. Its product portfolio is comprised of items such as cabinets for spa heaters, molded cups and trays, casing for underwater rebreathers, trays for dialysis machines and unground optical lenses, and other specialized thermoformed components using CAD and CAM technology.

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New York-based CLB Partners will work with Paradise in its endeavor to find the right strategic company or companies and then assist with the management of the acquisition process. Melvin S. Gordon, Paradise chief executive officer and president, expressed confidence that CLB would help the company grow its business. “We are very excited at the prospect of exploring acquisition opportunities with CLB, a very experienced financial advisory firm with a proven track record in mergers and acquisitions,” stated Gordon. “CLB has relationships with an extensive network of commercial and investment banks that will help identify potential companies. Once solid candidates have been targeted, CLB will work with us to determine the appropriate business valuations, and conduct due diligence and subsequent negotiations. We are very confident that CLB will help us achieve our business objectives quickly and successfully as we have worked on previous projects with them.”

About Paradise, Inc.

Headquartered in Plant City, Florida, Paradise, Inc. (OTCBB:PARF – news) is the oldest and largest producer of glace fruit in the United States. Glace fruit, or candied fruit, is a basic fruitcake ingredient sold to manufacturing bakers, institutional users, and retailers for use in home baking. The Company is also engaged in the production of plastic containers for its products and other molded plastics for sale to unaffiliated customers. For more information please call 813/752-1155.

About CLB Partners, LLC

CLB Partners, LLC specializes in providing financial advisory and investment banking services to the middle market, an area traditionally under served by Wall Street investment banks. Specifically, CLB has partnered with several leading commercial banks and global financial institutions to bring its experience and expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital fundraising, enterprise valuation and strategic advisory to benefit middle market companies. Founded in 1999, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in Boston, Indianapolis, and Charlotte. For more information please call 631/462-1473 or visit the CLB Partners web site at