Adds category leader in the rapidly growing fresh-cut produce industry

  • Adds over $500 million annually to Performance Food Group’s revenues
  • Expands fresh-cut expertise in retail food segment

Performance Food Group (Nasdaq/NM: PFGC) yesterday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Fresh Express, the nation’s largest independent fresh-cut produce processor. The total purchase price for the acquisition was approximately $302.6 million in cash, which includes the repayment of net debt outstanding, and the assumption of certain liabilities. An additional $10 million will be payable upon the achievement of certain operating targets.

Fresh Express, based in Salinas, Calif., is the category leader in the approximately $6 billion fresh-cut produce industry. Fresh Express pioneered the retail packaged salad category in 1989 with the introduction of fresh value-added salads and has since grown to generate sales of $509 million in its fiscal year ended February 2001. In addition, Fresh Express is a leader in providing controlled atmosphere technology and packaging of perishable produce to ensure product freshness. Fresh Express today markets a diverse line with over 100 products to most major supermarkets nationwide and a large number of foodservice operators. The company operates five strategic processing facilities (Salinas, Ca., Greencastle, Pa., Colorado Springs, Co., Atlanta, Ga. and Chicago, Il.) to service the entire United States.

C. Michael Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of Performance Food Group, remarked, “We are pleased that the acquisition of Fresh Express was completed so expeditiously. This transaction represents a significant step forward for Performance Food Group. We have a successful record of closing and integrating acquisitions, and the teamwork and relationships we have already developed with the Fresh Express management team reinforces our confidence about the potential that this investment offers. Our fresh-cut produce operating unit has compiled an outstanding record of growth and innovation; and with the resources of Fresh Express, we are now clearly the leader in one of the fastest-growing categories of the entire food industry.”

Steve Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Express, remarked, “We can now focus on the new product opportunities that Fresh Express has as an important business unit within Performance Food Group. We immediately have access to considerably more operational and financial resources that we can use to execute our strategic plans. Our combined marketing forces offer exciting potential for marketing products across both retail and food service channels. We also share a commitment to providing outstanding customer service and product innovation.”

Performance Food Group markets and distributes more than 32,000 national and private label food and food-related products to approximately 29,000 restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, schools, healthcare facilities and other institutions. For more information on Performance Food Group, visit

Certain statements made herein are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include statements regarding anticipated earnings for next year, sales momentum, customer and product sales mix, expected efficiencies in the Company’s business and the ability of Performance Food Group to realize expected synergies following acquisitions. These statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations and management’s estimates; actual results may differ materially. The risks and uncertainties which could impact these statements include, but are not limited to, the relatively low margins and economic sensitivity of the foodservice business, thee Company’s reliance on major customers, the ability to identify and successfully complete acquisitions of other foodservice distributors and management of the Company’s planned growth, all as detailed from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.