Friday, December 5, 2003

Wornick sold to holding firm

Company makes Army rations

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BLUE ASH - Wornick Co., a locally-based maker of military food rations, has agreed to be acquired by a New York investment firm for $155 million in cash.

Veritas Capital Fund II, a private equity firm founded in 1992 by Robert McKeon, said it plans no changes in management or employment. The sale announcement confirms reports in October that the nearly 25-year-old privately held company was considering purchase offers.

Wornick employs 840 nationally and expects sales this year of $305 million.

McKeon said Veritas hopes to expand Wornick to $1 billion in sales over five years through a combination of growth and acquisitions.

Privately held Wornick is believed to be the largest of three primary Defense Department suppliers of MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat.).

Wornick also supplies humanitarian ready-to-eat meals and shelf-stable foods through its Homestyle Express brand to convenience chains such as 7-Eleven, Circle K and BP/Amoco as well as grocery stores.

Veritas said it expects to complete the sale, subject to regulatory approvals, early next year.


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