Boulder Brands acquires clean label frozen food company

by Keith Nunes
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BOULDER, COLO. — Boulder Brands, Inc., the owner of the Udi’s, Smart Balance and Glutino brands, has acquired EVOL Foods, also based in Boulder, for $48 million from company founder Phil Anson and a group of investors. EVOL manufactures a variety of frozen food products, including burritos, quesadillas, entrees, bowls and skillet meals.

EVOL has positioned itself as a food processor serving the simple, clean label market. The company is estimated to have $17 million in sales during 2013, according to Boulder Brands.

“While this acquisition is relatively small in size, we believe it to have significant potential for Boulder Brands, as EVOL is a category-elastic brand in an exciting segment that will further accelerate our growth rate and diversify our mix to high-growth natural brands,” said Stephen Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of Boulder Brands. “Consumers are demanding pure and simple ingredients in the food they buy, and retailers are in the process of renovating their freezers with healthier alternatives. With EVOL, Boulder Brands will participate in this exciting growth opportunity with a newly defined ‘pure and simple’ food platform.”

The acquisition of EVOL is expected to contribute approximately $25 million in sales to Boulder Brands and generate $1.5 million in EBITDA. As a result, Boulder Brands expects its 2014 sales to be between $540 million to $550 million, EBITDA to be in the range of $89 million to $94 million, and earnings per share to be between 41c to 46c.

“We see considerable revenue and platform synergies with EVOL and Udi’s,” Mr. Hughes said. “EVOL has built a strong brand proven in the natural channel and a clear proof of concept in conventional retail, resulting in considerable white-space opportunity in conventional, mass and club channels. In addition, its portfolio of products is the perfect complement to Udi's wide range of gluten-free frozen baked goods.”
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