Philadelphia Macaroni Company (“Philadelphia Macaroni”), a leading producer of dry and frozen pasta for the industrial ingredient, private label retail, and co-pack channels has acquired A. Zerega’s Sons (“Zerega”), a leading manufacturer of dry pasta for the foodservice, industrial ingredient and retail channels.
The acquisition positions Zerega as a wholly owned subsidiary of Philadelphia Macaroni. The transaction includes Zerega’s manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Fair Lawn, NJ and Lee’s Summit, MO. No changes are planned for Zerega’s existing operations.
The Zerega purchase will essentially double Philadelphia Macaroni’s production and packaging capacity to more than 700 million pounds annually; increasing manufacturing capabilities, adding strategically located facilities and channel expansion. Philadelphia Macaroni’s new President and CEO, Ed Irion, stated the acquisition creates the largest privately-owned pasta manufacturer in the United States. Irion added, “Zerega’s wide variety of pasta offerings further enhances Philadelphia Macaroni’s product portfolio and provides an immediate, meaningful presence in the foodservice channel. We believe the combination of these two well-respected pasta companies will provide expanded opportunities for both our customers and employee team members.”
Philadelphia Macaroni and Zerega are both family-owned businesses with generations of experience manufacturing pasta for multiple distribution channels. Luke Marano, Jr., Philadelphia Macaroni Executive Chairman, commented, “The combination of two great family businesses allows us to advance our diversification strategy and compete against larger players in the critical foodservice category with the required competitive scale.” He continued, “Our great-grandfathers who founded our companies were innovators and entrepreneurs,” referring to Antoine Zerega who is credited with building the USA’s first pasta plant in Brooklyn, New York in 1848 and Antonio Marano, who formed Philadelphia Macaroni in 1914 in the Italian market neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Marano added, “It will be the merging of similar cultures, core values and historical industry leadership but most important of all, a similar love of pasta!”
Houlihan Lokey acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Zerega. Connell Foley acted as Zerega’s legal counsel. Wells Fargo Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor and Fox Rothschild as legal counsel to Philadelphia Macaroni.
Philadelphia Macaroni Company manufactures dry, frozen and specialty pasta for industrial, private label, retail, and co-pack customers. Through its four pasta factories located in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Washington, the company produces and distributes pasta to an international customer base. Incorporated in 1914, Philadelphia Macaroni is a 5th generation family-owned business headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and employs over 400 workers across the country. The company also mills durum and hard red spring wheat for internal use as well as for sale on the open market through its division, Minot Milling Company located in North Dakota.