(UPDATED COVERAGE, July 19) Marking its fourth acquisition in eight months, the Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman is acquiring Ace Tomato Co. Inc.
Lipman plans to integrate the Manteca, Calif.-based tomato packinghouse into its national operations after the end of this year’s growing season.
“We will continue to operate the packinghouse throughout the remainder of 2012,” Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, Ace Tomato’s president and daughter of company founder George Lagorio, said in a news release. “After that, we will turn the facilities over to Lipman. We are pleased to work with Lipman — another family owned produce company whose values and traditions are similar to ours.”
The acquisition of Ace, which also distributes fresh produce, represents a key part of Lipman’s national expansionm said Kent Shoemaker, Lipman’s chief executive officer, The move increases West Coast distribution capabilities and provides a base to distribute to surrounding states, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico.
“Lipman’s goal is to distribute produce on a national level and to continue to increase our geographic production diversity,” Shoemaker said. “We are expanding the company’s farming, packing, shipping and selling operations, particularly in areas where we do not have a significant presence. We are open to future acquisitions that help to achieve those goals.”
One of the largest North American field-grown tomato grower-shippers, Lipman grows, packs and distributes from 30 U.S. and Mexican locations.