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New corporate owner for Pineland potato plant

MARS HILL, Maine — A large holdings company from Missouri has purchased Bob Evans, the food company that acquired the Pineland Farms potato factory in early 2017. 

Last month, St. Louis-based Post Holdings closed on a $1.5 billion deal to buy Ohio-based refrigerated foods giant Bob Evans, whose production plants include the Pineland Farms Potato. Co in Mars Hill.  

Bob Evans purchased Pineland Farms Potato Co. from the Libra Foundation for $115 million last year, announcing the deal in January and closing in the spring.

The 125,000 square-foot Pineland facility makes pre-cooked and mashed potato products with spuds purchased from regional farms and employs more than 150 people. The Pineland potato business also includes a 600-acre farm in St. Agatha that supplies the factory.

The sale to Bob Evans was meant to give the Pineland factory a parent organization with a larger reach in the food industry, said Bill Haggett, the CEO of Pineland in an interview at the time. Pineland was founded in 1997 as Naturally Potatoes and went through multiple ownership structures before being acquired by the nonprofit Libra Foundation in 2010 and then sold last year.

It is not clear specifically how Pineland Farms potato products will fit into the portfolio of food brands under Post Holdings. The company did not respond to a media inquiry.

In a press release on Jan. 11, Post Holdings officials said the company is forming a refrigerated retail business unit and a foodservice business unit.

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