Bruce Foods of New Iberia has sold part of its brand and two of its four manufacturing plants to South Carolina-based McCall Farms.

According to a prepared statement by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the acquisition represents a $19.3 million investment with the potential to create 140 new jobs within the next five years.

The deal, according to a release issued by Bruce Foods announcing the sale, includes the brand rights to Bruce’s Yams and its line of Southern canned vegetables as well as two yam cannery plants, one in Lozes near New Iberia, which opened in 2010, and the other in Wilson, N.C. Both plants employ between 50 and 60 full-time workers.

Bruce Foods ranked No. 9 on ABiz's list of the region's Top 50 privately held companies, with an estimated $266 million in 2012 revenues. It is unclear how the divestiture will affect the company's annual revenues going forward. 

A McCall Farms spokeswoman told The Advocate it’s undetermined how the acquisition will immediately impact those positions.

Photo by Robin May
Bruce Foods' Virginia Brown Forestier and Si Brown

“McCall Farms is still evaluating how the company will proceed with any realignment of jobs and job functions as it relates to former Bruce Foods employees,” McCall Farms spokeswoman Annie Ham told the newspaper.

According to Bruce Foods, the deal does not impact operations at the local company’s main plant in New Iberia where it manufactures Louisiana Hot Sauce, Cajun Injector Marinades and Mexene Chili Powder, as well as the Viva Mexico and Casa Fiesta Mexican food lines produced at its El Paso, Texas, plant.

Like Bruce Foods, which was started in 1928, McCall Farms is a privately held company, founded in 1838. It offers a range of products including the Peanut Patch line of boiled peanuts and the Margaret Holmes brand of canned goods.

A message left with Bruce Foods CEO Si Brown was not immediately returned.

ABiz also is awaiting a response from Ham.

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