Bob Evans Farms Inc. has had an eventful — if not tumultuous — 18 months, and last week, it shut down one of its longest-standing Dayton-area restaurants, on West Dorothy Lane near Walmart in Moraine.
Here’s a look at a few of the most notable events in a company that got its start in Ohio nearly seven decades ago:
1. RESTAURANT CLOSURES The company announced in April 2016 that it was closing 27 restaurants. That number included a Dayton-area location that actually had shut down a couple of weeks earlier, at 1929 Harshman Road in Riverside. Restaurants in 10 states were affected.
2. RESTAURANTS SOLD In January 2017, Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced it had sold all of its restaurant locations to a private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $565 million. Company officials said they would retain the Bob Evans leadership team to guide a transition as they take part of the company private.
The transaction essentially split the company in half. The Bob Evans Farms food division, which makes mashed potatoes, sausage and various side dishes, became a stand-alone company. the transaction closed in May 2017.
3. FARMS SOLD And just three weeks ago, on Sept. 19, Post Holdings, Inc. announced it would acquire Bob Evans Farms, Inc. for $1.5 billion. Post makes a variety of items, including the line of cereals such as Honeycomb, Grape Nuts, Cocoa Pebbles and Great Grains, among others.
» RELATED: Bob Evans restaurant in Centerville sold
4. ACQUISITION After the acquisition is completed, Post expects to combine its existing refrigerated retail egg, potato and cheese business with Bob Evans, establishing a refrigerated retail business within Post. The deal will “significantly strengthen Post’s portfolio of brands, expand choices for customers and increase Post’s presence in higher-growth categories of the packaged food market,” the company said in a statement.
» RELATED: Bob Evans to close 27 restaurants
5. LOCAL PRESENCE “We have enormous respect for Bob Evans’ success and are excited about the growth opportunities this combination will create,” said Rob Vitale, president and chief executive officer of Post Holdings. “Combining with Bob Evans expands our portfolio of top brands and gives Post a leading position in the perimeter of the store. We look forward to welcoming the talented Bob Evans team to Post and working to create a successful future together.”
Bob Evans Farms Inc., which was founded in 1948, has a major presence in Springfield, with a transportation center at AirparkOhio. The company opened its first distribution center at AirparkOhio in 2002, according to the park website.
FIVE FAST BUSINESS READS