CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has agreed to sell its Turkey Hill business to an affiliate of private-equity firm Peak Rock Capital, according to a report in Winsight Grocery Business. The companies did not disclose a purchase price.
The supermarket retailer first expressed interest in unloading the brand—which includes items such as iced teas, fruit drinks, milk and frozen dairy products—in summer 2018 as it looked to eliminate “noncore” assets as part of its Restock initiative. This move came just after Kroger announced it would sell its more than 700 convenience stores, including Turkey Hill-branded sites, to U.K.-based retailer EG Group.
As part of the dairy business sale, the Peak Rock Capital affiliate will continue to operate the Turkey Hill business out of its Conestoga, Pa., facility and maintain the brand. Turkey Hill employs nearly 800 full-time, part-time and seasonal associates.
Erin Sharp, group vice president of manufacturing for Kroger, said the retailer believes the sale is the “right step to ensure the Turkey Hill business can meet its full potential and continue to grow its successful ice cream and beverage brands.”
Robert Pistilli, managing director of Peak Rock Capital, called the exchange an “exciting opportunity to invest in a premier brand with an established reputation for quality, flavor variety and authenticity within the large and growing ice cream and refrigerated drinks space,” while company officials expressed interest in expanding the brand portfolio.
The companies said they expect to close the deal during the first quarter. Officials said after-tax proceeds would be used to reduce debt.
Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial adviser to Cincinnati-based Kroger and conducted a strategic review of options for the brand.