Kent’s Oberto Brands will be sold to British Columbia-based Premium Brands Holdings.
The 100-year-old, family owned company will keep its headquarters in Kent, according to a Oberto news release on April 12. Oberto reached an agreement to sell its assets and operating division. The transaction is expected to close within the next four to six weeks.
“Yes, headquarters and manufacturing will stay in Kent, and we expect it is business as usual during and after the transaction,” said Marc Berger, spokesman for Oberto, in an email. “We are happy to announce that Premium Brands will extend offers of employment to all active Oberto employees.”
Oberto manufactures beef jerky and other protein-based snack foods. Constantino Oberto founded the company in 1918 in Seattle before Oberto moved its headquarters in 1978 to Kent. In 1997, Oberto built a new 100,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing plant in Kent, 7060 S. 238th St., to replace a smaller facility. The company has about 500 employees.
“We are very proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved over the past 100 years as a family owned and operated business,” said Art Oberto, chairman emeritus of Oberto. “Transitions are always difficult, but we are confident this transaction will be position Oberto for future success. In Premium Brands, we have found a partner that will not only honor the traditions, values and people that are the heart of Oberto’s success, but also one that shares our vision for the future. They are the right partner to take us forward and strengthen the legacy built by the family.”
George Paleologou, president and CEO of Premium Brands, said the company is pleased to welcome Oberto into its group.
“Oberto’s values, culture, loyal employees and talented management team are an ideal fit for us,” Paleologou said. “Furthermore, we are very excited about being entrusted with growing the iconic Oberto brand, which we have followed and admired for many years.”
Tom Hernquist, president and CEO of Oberto, said, “the marriage with Premium Brands will greatly enhance our ability to grow and thrive for the next 100 years.”
Premium Brands owns food manufacturing and distribution businesses throughout Canada as well as California, Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, Minnesota and Mississippi.
The Kent City Council last last year approve renaming a short section of South 238th Street near the West Valley Highway to Oberto Drive after a request for the change from company officials as part of their plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary in 2018.