Case Study

Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc.

Dickinson Frozen Foods and Century Park Capital Partners had a very productive partnership. Century Park’s financial and strategic expertise helped Dickinson Frozen Foods grow to become a key processor and marketer of premium frozen vegetables to other food manufacturers and to the food service industry. Century Park’s support and guidance on value-added activities were also key ingredients in our successful sale of Dickinson Frozen Foods.

Peter Reijula

Former Chief Executive Officer of Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc.

Overview

Dickinson Frozen Foods, Inc. is a leading provider of individually roasted potatoes, onions and vegetable blends to large industrial food processors and food service companies. Century Park Capital invested in the company as part of the then-owner’s retirement plan. During our investment period, Century Park helped Dickinson complete an important acquisition of a complementary business, implement a major plant expansion, roll out a new MIS system and penetrate new market channels.

Highlights

  • Critical supplier to its customers
  • Strong customer relationships
  • Positioned to benefit from industry trends

Details

Headquarters – Eagle, Idaho
Industry – Food & Beverage

The Situation

In 2002, Century Park partnered with another investor to acquire Dickinson, a leading manufacturer and marketer of individually quick frozen vegetables. At the time, Dickinson’s founder was ready for retirement and made the decision to sell his company. Century Park viewed Dickinson as a strong competitor well-positioned in its industry with the potential to grow through internal expansion and strategic acquisitions.

How We Helped

Century Park provided the equity capital necessary to acquire the stock of Dickinson from its founder, meeting his needs to exit the business with significant liquidity for retirement. Century Park assisted the company in expansion of its facilities, addition of new production lines and introduction of new products. In 2005, Century Park led Dickinson in the acquisition of the NorSun Food Group, Inc. This acquisition added a new facility, broadened Dickinson’s customer base and expanded the company’s product offering (into roasted potato products). As a result of market growth and broadened product offerings, the company experienced significant growth under Century Park’s ownership. To support this ongoing growth, Century Park steadily helped build the company’s management team across multiple disciplines and worked with that management team to increase plant capacity, expand into new retail distribution channels and improve the purchasing of raw materials.

The Result

During the period Century Park held its investment in Dickinson, the company experienced strong growth as revenues increased approximately four fold. Century Park exited the business through a sale to a strategic buyer. Some of the key initiatives that facilitated this growth included:

  • Completed the acquisition of a key complementary roasted vegetable business.
  • Added experienced executives to augment the management team (CEO, CFO, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Director of Procurement, and Plant Manager).
  • Implemented sophisticated MIS system to strengthen the company’s controls.
  • Evaluated the feasibility of new markets and provided support in expanding facilities.
  • Assisted in revamping the company’s procurement strategy, implementation of process improvements, and expansion of distribution into new channels.
  • Implemented a management incentive stock option plan for the then existing and new management.