"The acquisition of Fresh Express will significantly increase our penetration of the fresh-cut produce category, including both retail and foodservice outlets, and will establish us as the leader in one of the fastest-growing categories of the food industry," notes Robert C. Sledd, PFG chairman. "Our growth to this point in the fresh-cut sector has occurred principally as a processor of fresh-cut produce to multiunit restaurant chains and other foodservice outlets. We believe there are numerous marketing opportunities to combine Fresh Express' leading market position and reputation for quality and innovation among retail supermarkets, with our expertise in product innovation and relationships with many leading restaurant chains."
In addition, C. Michael Gray, president and coo of PFG, has assumed the responsibilities of president and ceo. Sledd, previously chairman and ceo, continues as chairman. "We believe this is an appropriate time to shift these responsibilities to Michael, " Sledd comments. "He has demonstrated effective leadership in guiding our operations during a time in which we have realized strong internal gains and executed a very ambitious?and successful?acquisition program."
Also announced: the promotion of Steve Spinner to the new position of president of PFG's Broadline Div. Spinner has served as broadline regional president responsible for the northeast and previously was president of AFI Food Service Distributors, Elizabeth, NJ, acquired by PFG in 1997.