Philadelphia Macaroni in pasta pact for A. Zerega’s

Philadelphia Macaroni in pasta pact for A. Zerega’s

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Macaroni Co., a producer of dry and frozen pasta for the industrial ingredient, private label retail and co-pack channels, has acquired A. Zerega’s Sons, a manufacturer of dry pasta for the foodservice, industrial ingredient and retail channels. The transaction creates the largest privately-owned pasta manufacturer in the United States.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Philadelphia Macaroni said the acquisition includes Zerega’s manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Fair Lawn, NJ, and Lee’s Summit, Mo. No changes are planned for Zerega’s existing operations, and the company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Philadelphia Macaroni.

The acquisition of Zerega’s operations is expected to essentially double Philadelphia Macaroni’s production and packaging capacity to more than 700 million lbs per year. The transaction also will increase manufacturing capabilities, adding strategically located facilities and channel expansion, the company said.

“Zerega’s wide variety of pasta offerings further enhances Philadelphia Macaroni’s product portfolio and provides an immediate, meaningful presence in the foodservice channel,” said Edward O. Irion, who joined Philadelphia Macaroni as president and chief executive officer on April 1. “We believe the combination of these two well-respected pasta companies will provide expanded opportunities for both our customers and employee team members.”

Philadelphia Macaroni and Zerega’s are both family-owned businesses with generations of experience manufacturing pasta for multiple distribution channels.

“The combination of two great family businesses allows us to advance our diversification strategy and compete against larger players in the critical foodservice category with the required competitive scale,” said Luke Marano Jr., executive chairman of Philadelphia Macaroni. “Our great-grandfathers who founded our companies were innovators and entrepreneurs,” referring to Antoine Zerega, who is credited with building the US’s first pasta plant in Brooklyn, NY, in 1848 and Antonio Marano, who formed Philadelphia Macaroni in 1914 in the Italian market neighborhood of Philadelphia.

“It will be the merging of similar cultures, core values and historical industry leadership but, most important of all, a similar love of pasta,” Mr. Marano said.