The Hain Celestial Group Inc. has taken full ownership of Empire Kosher Poultry Inc. of Mifflintown, Pa., by purchasing the 80 per cent of EK Holdings Inc. shares it did not already own.
It’s a case of the seller taking over the buyer because Empire recently bought Kosher Valley from Hain Pure Protein Corp.
Hain, based in Lake Success, N.Y., markets more than 2,000 kosher-certified products.
Hain paid $57.6 million for the EK Holdings shares.
There is no longer a kosher poultry processing plant in Ontario so kosher chicken now comes from either the one remaining Canadian kosher poultry plant in Montreal or is imported under supplementary permits issued by the federal government only when the product can’t be sourced from Canadians.
Kosher Valley is the first brand of certified kosher antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed and humanely-raised all-natural branded chicken and turkey products.
Empire generated more than $100 million in net sales in calendar year 2014. Whole Food Markets, a national retail food chain, is one of its major customers.
Hain Celestial has more than 2,000 products that are kosher certified in its branded portfolio of natural and organic products. It’s brands include Celestial Seasonings, Garden of Eatin', MaraNatha, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, FreeBird, Empire Kosher, Kosher Valley, Linda McCartney and Queen Helen.