Universal Pure Holdings, LLC, the largest independent provider of high pressure processing (“HPP”) and cold chain solutions for food & beverage customers in North America and portfolio company of Tilia Holdings, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Hydrofresh Ltd. (“Hydrofresh HPP”), an outsourced HPP and cold storage provider with a leading market presence in the Midwest, from Keller Logistics Group, Inc (“Keller Logistics”) on May 31, 2022. HPP is a high growth food safety and quality technology used to inactivate foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in food and beverage products. HPP extends product shelf-life without the use of additives or preservatives to enable a clean-label without compromising taste, texture or nutritional value.
The transaction expands Universal Pure’s geographic reach in the Midwest, facilitating the delivery of higher levels of service and quality to its growing base of over 150 food and beverage customers. The combined company operates 20 HPP machines across its national, strategic facility footprint of seven locations, which makes it one of the largest users of HPP globally. With Universal’s and Hydrofresh HPP’s partnership, the company’s footprint is located within a truck-day of all major food production hubs in the U.S., yielding an unmatched ability to move food & beverage products across the HPP supply chain.
Located in northwestern Ohio, Hydrofresh HPP was founded in 2018 by Keller Logistics Group and Don Klausing to provide HPP, cold storage, and distribution services to food & beverage customers. Guided by a sincere focus on customer service, the company has steadily increased its HPP capacity in its state-of-the-art facility and has made significant investments in the local community.
“We started with seven full-time employees and now have over 100 employees. Since 2018 we’ve installed a second machine to keep servicing our customers’ growing need for HPP. Both Hydrofresh HPP and Universal Pure are focused on helping food manufacturers provide high-quality products with clean labels that consumers are demanding today. The HPP technology also provides a longer shelf life and with that, less food waste. By joining the Universal Pure network, we’ll be able to expand our customers’ access to HPP services across the U.S.,” said Klausing, president of Hydrofresh HPP.
“We are thrilled to add Hydrofresh HPP to the Universal Pure network, which builds a truly national platform of HPP-centered cold chain solutions. We have great respect and admiration for the company Don and his team have built over the past four years and look forward to working with the Hydrofresh HPP team to drive further growth across our businesses,” said Jeff Williams, CEO of Universal Pure.
“Adding Hydrofresh HPP’s capabilities to Universal Pure will enable us to better serve our customers and their supply chain needs to deliver safe, healthy and clean label foods,” added Williams. “Through the dedication of our combined team of nearly 800 employees, we are thrilled about the opportunity to further cement our leadership position in the HPP industry. This transaction showcases Universal Pure’s commitment to invest in our capabilities and services to further advance adoption of HPP.”
Bryan Keller, CEO of Keller Logistics Group added, “The process of HPP was brought to my attention by the Mayor of Defiance because he thought that Keller Logistics Group’s experience in warehousing and distribution provided the capabilities to bring HPP to northwestern Ohio. Since HPP is outside of Keller Logistics Group’s core focus of logistics, we feel that partnering with Universal, the market leading provider of HPP services, is better for the business and the Hydrofresh HPP team. Don and his team’s expertise have made Hydrofresh HPP a success. Now they will become part of a larger network allowing them to continue to serve their customers, expand their services, and provide quality jobs for the residents of Delphos, Ohio.”
Klausing will retain his leadership role of Hydrofresh HPP, focusing on the growth of the combined entity’s business.
Mayer Brown LLP served as legal advisors to Universal Pure and Twin Brook Capital Partners provided debt financing in support of the transaction.
Source: Universal Pure