The deal to sell Richmond-based C.F. Sauer Co. moved forward.
The shareholders of the family-owned global food manufacturer met Monday and voted to approve the sale of C.F. Sauer Co. to Charlotte, N.C.-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners, a company spokeswoman said. The deal was announced last month.
The transaction, subject to other closing conditions, should be completed by late July.
The new company will be called Sauer Brands Inc.
The sale is only for C.F. Sauer’s food business, which includes a broad line of condiments, spices, seasonings and extracts, including Duke’s Mayonnaise, The Spice Hunter, Sauer’s, Gold Medal and BAMA. The company’s products are sold at supermarkets in the U.S. and in other stores around the globe.
The family will retain ownership of its significant real estate portfolio owned by Sauer Properties Inc., its development and real estate subsidiary. The family will continue to own the company’s headquarters and manufacturing plant complex at 2000 W. Broad St. at Hermitage Road, under the iconic neon sign for its vanilla extract. It has operated there since 1911.
Conrad F. Sauer IV, who was named president in 1993 and is the fourth generation of his family to lead the business, will retire as president and CEO. But he will serve on the board of directors of the new company.
William W. “Bill” Lovette, a 37-year food industry veteran who left as CEO of the poultry processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in March, has been named interim CEO.
The company’s 860 employees, including about 165 in the Richmond region, will remain with the new owners.
C.F. Sauer Co. began in 1887 when the company’s founder starting making vanilla extract in Shockoe Bottom.
Falfurrias Capital was founded in 2006 by Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and chief executive of Bank of America, and Marc Oken, former chief financial officer of Bank of America.
The private equity firm has experience in the food industry. For instance, it acquired Bojangles’, the Southeast-based quick-service restaurant chain, in 2007 and sold it in 2011.