Made in America: Springdale cookie dough manufacturer acquired by Chicago investment group

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 216 views 

Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.

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SPRINGDALE COOKIE DOUGH MANUFACTURER ACQUIRED BY CHICAGO INVESTMENT GROUP
Springdale’s sprawling South Coast Baking Co., a state-of-the-art frozen cookie dough manufacturer that provides bakery products to Sam’s Club and Panera Bread, has changed hands and is now part of Chicago-based private equity firm Arbor Investments. South Coast, headquartered in Irving, Calif., was purchased by Arbor on March 2, and operates bakeries in Springdale and on the West Coast. It will now be part of Arbor’s baking platform, Le Petit Pain Holdings, which includes New French Bakery Inc. in Minneapolis, Best Maid Cookie in River Falls, Wisc., and Hudson (Wisc.) Baking Company Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Arbor has not announced any changes to South Coast’s management or workforce. Two years ago, South Coast announced it was investing $8.7 million to expand its Springdale manufacturing operations and add a second production line that would employ 150 workers making up to $25 an hour. Founded in 1999, Arbor has acquired or invested in over 44 food, beverage and related companies in North America, officials said.

CHINA GDP GROWTH SLOWS TO 7.3%, PLANS TO CUT 1.8 MILLION COAL, STEEL MANUFACTURING JOBS
U.S. manufacturers, especially the steel industry, could benefit from economic reforms announced on March 5 (Saturday) by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. In an address before the 12th National People’s Congress, Keqiang said the country’s growth target in 2016 would be difficult to reach and would remain flat in the range of 6.5-7%. In 2015, the Chinese economy slowed to Gross Domestic Production (GDP) growth of only 6.9%, compared to 7.3% in 2014 and 7.7% in 2013.

Keqiang noted in his speech that China is in a painful economic transformation, switching from an investment-led model to one that relies on domestic consumption, services and innovation. To achieve goals, the country is actively slimming down its bloated state-owned enterprises, especially in the coal and steel sectors. According to preliminary forecasts, the two sectors will see a combined laid-off worker count totaling 1.8 million.

NAM LAUNCHES LEGAL ADVICE PROGRAM FOR MANUFACTURING COMPANIES
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is launching a new program—the Manufacturers’ Compliance Institute (MCI) Global—to provide legal advice on export controls, sanctions, customs and other market-entry fundamentals. In addition, the MCLA launched a new Shopfloor legal blog with expert analysis of key cases, current legal news and issues affecting manufacturers. To learn more about the legal institute, which is part of the National Association of Manufacturers, click here.

PENTAGON PARTNERS WITH 300 EMPLOYERS TO HELP BOOST CAREERS OF MILITARY SPOUSES
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recently announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program has now partnered with 300 employers, according to officials from the DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Office. The program, launched in June 2011 by Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is an employment and career partnership connecting military spouses to partner organizations and companies who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. The partnership includes corporations, small businesses and other organizations that post job openings on the Pentagon’s private Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career portal, mentor military spouses and other employers, and provide employment data on military spouses hired, officials said.