OSI Group, one of the world’s biggest foodservice companies, has been on a roll lately in terms of acquisitions. Based in Aurora, Illinois, the company has been doing business since 1909. Their beginnings are surprisingly humble. OSI was originally a meat market and butcher shop in Chicago. It was called Otto And Sons, as it was operated by founder Otto Kolschowsky and his sons. The company received their big break when it was selected by McDonald’s as its original supplier of ground beef. This led to a huge expansion for the company. This expansion is why OSI made the recent list of the world’s top 100 food companies.
Their latest acquisition is a beef slaughter operation in Germany that has enjoyed a long lasting and close relationship with farmers in the region wherein it is based. This is part of why OSI chose to purchase Hynek Schlachthof for an undisclosed sum last year. Also, having a slaughterhouse so close to the farms is a great asset for any meat company to acquire. Eric Schottl, the managing director of OSI Europe, said that the buy was part of a larger company effort to expand into Europe, and that this acquisition would help provide the raw materials needed. As you will see, most of the purchases made by OSI lately have been consistent with this goal.
The year before that, they bought Flagship Europe. Flagship Europe is a UK-based foods company specializing in frozen goods. The company had been owned by Flagship Foods out of Denver, Colorado, before being purchased by OSI Group. They have since renamed Flagship as Creative Foods Europe. Earlier that same year, OSI completed a huge expansion when they bought a controlling stake in dutch food company Baho Foods Group. This adds to their growing portfolio. Baho was a very large and well-established company, having done business for over 60 years in many countries throughout Europe.
Also in 2016, OSI Group bought a Tyson food processing plant in Chicago for about seven million dollars. OSI didn’t publicly state very much about this buy, but they did say that the plant was selected for its close proximity to their existing Chicago facility. Before that, they opened up a new regional office in Germany. All in all, they had an extremely busy year.
One thing we can see is that when they acquire a company, they normally keep the existing management structure in place and allow the company to go on doing business as usual. From this, we can see that they only buy healthy and profitable companies.
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