COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kahiki Foods Inc., the zany creators of bold and exciting frozen Asian food, today announced that its owners, ABARTA Inc. of Pittsburgh, PA and the Tsao Family of Columbus, OH, have signed an agreement to sell 100% of the stock of the company to CJ CheilJedang, of Seoul, Korea. The transaction is expected to close in the next 30 days.
“This is an extraordinary time for our company. CJ CheilJedang has a very successful track record, particularly in the food industry in Asia, and they have ambitious plans for their food business in the US. With the additional support and resources that a global food company can provide, we think we can really accelerate the performance of our iconic brand in the growing and dynamic Asian frozen food category. Our goal has always been to excite and delight our consumers, and this change will help us bring that excitement to more consumers in more places around the country,” said Martin Kelly, The Big Kahuna at Kahiki Foods.
Mr. Hans Shin, Global Head of CJ CheilJedang Foods Business, said, “We are impressed by the progress Kahiki has made in building a leading Asian frozen food brand, and we are excited to add Kahiki to our corporate family. We look forward to working with the existing Kahiki team to find ways to accelerate the company’s success. Together with Kahiki, CJ looks forward to building a great food business in the US. We have a shared vision to become the leading maker and marketer of frozen Asian foods in this country.”
Founded in 1961 as the exotic Kahiki Supper Club, Kahiki Foods is now a fast-growing food manufacturer selling frozen Asian cuisine – available in almost 20,000 stores across the country. Kahiki will operate as a subsidiary of CJ America, and will be headquartered in Gahanna, OH. The current senior management team will remain in place and will continue offering Kahiki’s award winning product lines such as Crispy Tempura, StirFresh® meals, Bowl & Roll® single serve meals, Savory Sidekicks, Yum Yum Stix®, Rockin’ Rolls®, Dim Sum, and Family Feast meals.
Mr. John Bitzer, CEO of ABARTA, commented, “It has been a great pleasure working with all of the wonderful people at Kahiki. The company has been an important part of our family business for over 10 years, and we are pleased with the progress the company has made during that time. We are also excited about Kahiki’s future, and we are happy that we have found a great home for Kahiki in CJ CheilJedang, a place where Kahiki can continue to pursue its potential.” Alice Tsao added, “Our family’s history with the company goes all the way back to 1978, and we have watched the company grow and change profoundly over the years. While we will no longer have a role in the company, we are excited about the future for all Kahikians, and look forward to hearing about Kahiki’s success with new ownership.”
“We are grateful to ABARTA and the Tsao family, who have provided patience, capital and support over the 10+ years of the current ownership structure. We are also extremely appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our 250 teammates, known as Kahikians, who have contributed to our success, and helped us build the extraordinary business we have today,” added Big Kahuna Kelly.
To find Kahiki’s products near you, visit Kahiki’s product locator at http://www.kahiki.com/where-to-buy.
About Kahiki Foods, Inc.
What’s not to LOVE about bold Asian flavors that stir your senses? Making your meals a delicious adventure drives us to do what we’ve been doing now for over 56 years. And we have a blast doing it. Even our name is fun… just try to say Kahiki [kah-hee-kee] without smiling. Join the action at kahiki.com! Want to know more? Drop a line to Kahiki’s Tiki Torchbearer, Carole Bordak at email@example.com.
About CJ CheilJedang
CJ CheilJedang is the core subsidiary in charge of the food and bioengineering business sectors of the CJ Group. It has led the development of the Korean food industry for the past 60 years and contributed to the development of the bioengineering industry as the nation’s top food company. Launched in 1953 as a food ingredient company, CJ CheilJedang has expanded its business to processed foods. It was spun off from CJ Corp in 2007 and has been concentrating on the food and bioengineering business. CJ CheilJedang has achieved outstanding growth, quantitatively and qualitatively, in food processing and food ingredients in the food business sector, as well as the bio and pharmaceutical in the bioengineering business sector. We are striving to go beyond being the No. 1 in Korea to becoming a global leader in each business sector. CJ CheilJedang will continue to grow and evolve in the food & bio sectors by practicing the spirit of OnlyOne and develop into a global lifestyle company.