McLane to purchase MBM


McLane Carolina is located at 7253 N.C. 48 in the Battleboro community.


John Henderson

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A food distribution company that is one of Rocky Mount’s larger employers is slated to be bought out by another trucking company that employs many local residents.

The Temple, Texas-based McLane Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Meadowbrook Meat Co., which is headquartered in Rocky Mount, according to a McLane press release.

About 500 people are employed by both trucking operations in Rocky Mount.

The acquisition is not expected to result in layoffs at either of the Rocky Mount trucking facilities, and both companies will continue to operate independently, said Tom Sicola, vice president of marketing for McLane.

“The companies will operate independently,” Sicola said. “Expect business as usual. It’s not a merger but more of an acquisition. They will be stand-alone companies.”

Sicola did not want to comment about the purchase price.

Meadowbrook Meat, also known as MBM Corp., delivers food to companies such as Burger King, Red Lobster and Olive Garden.

McLane Rocky Mount operates a grocery distribution center in the Battleboro community. McClane Carolina also transports food products throughout the country.

North Carolina is one of the nation’s larger customized food service distributors for national restaurant chains, the McLane press release states. 

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

John Gessaman, the CEO of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership, said the food services industry has been growing in the Twin Counties and that these companies are two of the major players.

“This industry has expanded,” Gessaman said. “I don’t see any reason why it won’t continue and why both companies will not continue to grow in the area.”

According to its press release, McLane is a $33 billion-plus supply chain services company, providing grocery and food service supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores, as well as chain restaurants throughout the country. The company has 40 distribution centers, including one at 7253 N.C. 48 in the Battleboro community. It also has one of the nation’s larger private fleets of trucks. McLane also provides alcohol beverage distribution via its acquisitions of Empire Distributors, Horizon Wine & Spirits and Delta Wine & Spirits over the past three years. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway and employs 15,000 workers globally. 

MBM, whose headquarters is 2641 Meadowbrook Road, was founded by J.R. Wordsworth in 1947 as a pork processor catering to its local market in Rocky Mount. The company has grown to become a $6 billion food service distributor, providing food service supply chain services to thousands of national and regional chain restaurants in the country. The company employs more than 3,300 nationwide.

The McLane press release states that MBM after the acquisition “will continue to be run in the same prudent and professional manner as it has been for the past 65 years, led by the current executive management team and operating out of its existing facilities in the same markets.” The only change to MBM’s business will be “new access to enhanced resources, operational best practices and intellectual capital that will provide significant upside and opportunity for increased levels of success for MBM, McLane and the customers both companies serve,” the McLane release stated. 

Grady Rosier, CEO of McLane, said in the press release that this acquisition is based on McLane’s strategy of expanding its portfolio of companies in the food and beverage industries. 

“The Wordsworth family has built one of the finest and most highly respected companies in our industry, and we look forward to providing Jerry Wordsworth and his team our full support to continue MBM’s leadership in the market, while positioning ourselves for further growth,” Rosier said.

“We are excited to become part of the McLane and Berkshire Hathaway family, which provides an extraordinary base to continue to serve our wonderful customers and expand our business,” Wordsworth, CEO of MBM, said in the release.

Wordsworth is a part-owner of the Carolina Panthers NFL football team.

The purchase and combining of resources hopefully will allow both McLane and MBM to grow in the future, Sicola said.

“McLane has been around over 100 years,” he said. “MBM has been a solid company since 1947.”