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Tyson Foods acquires small pizza company

Story by Kim Souza
ksouza@thecitywire.com

In a move to expand its prepared food sales, Tyson Foods Inc. recently acquired the assets of Bosco’s Pizza Co. of Warren, Mich., according to a press release issued Monday (Jan. 20) by the Springdale-based meat giant. Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the release.

“Bosco’s will be a good addition to our diversified portfolio of quality food offerings,” Donnie King, Tyson Foods’ president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions, said in the statement.

The pizza company employs about 150 workers. The Bosco Pizza brand will continue to operate as a unit under the Tyson’s Prepared Foods division. Craig Mulhinch, vice president of Bosco’s sales and marketing, and Paul Morgan, vice president of Bosco’s operations, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations.

Bosco’s Pizza, famous for “The Original Bosco Stick,” produces a variety of stuffed bread sticks and frozen pizzas for food service and retail customers throughout the Midwest and at some retailers nationwide.

“This is a great opportunity for the Bosco’s brand,” Mulhinch said. “We’ve put a lot of effort into creating high-quality products and Tyson Foods has recognized that. This deal will allow us to accelerate our growth while we continue to focus on the fundamentals of making excellent artisan bread products. We’re excited about joining the Tyson team.”

Entrepreneur Mark Artinian created Bosco’s as a carry-out pizzeria in 1988 before he began delivering frozen pizzas to area high schools. In 1995, the company started producing frozen stuffed crust pizza, which soon led to stuffed bread sticks, the company’s main product line today. Artinian will remain with the business in an advisory role.

Tyson Foods is the largest supplier of pepperoni and pizza toppings to the food service industry. Tyson Foods markets prepared foods products to retail grocers, food service distributors, restaurant operators and on-site food service establishments such as schools, universities, corporate cafeterias, hotel chains, healthcare facilities and the military.

In addition to “The Original Bosco Stick,” the Bosco’s Pizza plant produces partially baked frozen pizza made with traditional and whole grain crust, reduced-fat cheese Bosco Sticks, pepperoni Bosco Sticks and whole grain apple-filled Bosco Sticks in a variety of sizes and pack options. More information about Bosco’s Pizza is available at BoscosPizza.com.

Tyson is also rumored to be evaluating a $2 billion purchase of Michael Foods, a large distributor of eggs and dairy products, according to a report from Reuters on Jan. 16. Tyson did not confirm or deny the rumor when asked by The City Wire on Friday, Jan. 17.

CEO Donnie Smith has said in recent months the firm would be evaluating certain small potential acquisitions should the opportunities arise. Tyson is flush with cash and has announced strategic plans to grow its value-added sales and expand the products offered in its diverse prepared foods segment.

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The Bosco deal fits those parameters, the Michael’s bid would be substantially larger.

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