Monday November 29, 2010

Birds Eye HQ to Shut Down by Year’s End

No impact on Fulton manufacturing facility
By Lou Sorendo

    The former local headquarters of Birds Eye Foods Inc. in suburban Rochester will close at year's end, its owners said recently.

    The company began shutting down the Penfield operation this year and will shutter it completely by year’s end, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC spokeswoman Elizabeth Rowland said.

    In February, Pinnacle Foods filed notice with the state of New York that it planned to close its operation in Penfield, laying off its 205 workers, and merge the local facility into Pinnacle's New Jersey location.

    The measure will not have any impact on the Birds Eye manufacturing facility in Fulton, which employs 283 workers and is the 10th largest private employer in Oswego County, Rowland said.

    Birds Eye has been doing business in Fulton since 1943.

    Pinnacle Foods Group, a manufacturer of brands including Duncan Hines, Vlasic and Mrs. Butterworth's, said in November 2009 that it had signed an agreement to purchase Birds Eye for approximately $1.3 billion. The deal closed Dec. 23.

    Pinnacle Foods is owned by private-equity funds controlled by the Blackstone Group of New Jersey.

    There was some uncertainty as to whether Pinnacle was going to shut down the Fulton facility following its acquisition.
    “There are no plans to shut down the Fulton facility at this time,” Rowland said.

    “The Fulton facility plays a key role in our supply chain, as do all of our plants,” she added.

    Birds Eye has additional plants in Fennville, Mich.; Algona and Tacoma, Wash.; Berlin, Pa.; Waseca, Minn.; and Darien and Green Bay, Wis.

    All affected Rochester employees also were offered outplacement services, Rowland said.

    Only Rochester-area Birds Eye employees will be affected by the closure, Rowland said, and many of them were offered positions with relocation benefits in Pinnacle Foods' field sales and at its headquarters in New Jersey. More than half of the local Birds Eye employees were offered employment, and more than half of those accepted, she added.

    Birds Eye employed 1,700 people across the United States before it was acquired. It had sales of more than $930 million in fiscal 2009, according to published reports.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 164

Issue 164
October/November 2019

Cover Story

  • Cruse Control
  • Jeff Cruse takes over as top leader for Novelis’ Oswego Works


Linda Eagan

On The Job

What type of marketing do you find most effective?

Success Stories

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

My Turn

Why President Trump Won’t Admit Mistakes


News Briefs on Local Businesses & Business People

Economic Trends

Oswego County IDA Recapitalizes Popular Loan Program

Last Page

Rodmon King