Dining firm Imvescor to shed veggie meals business

Commensal’s prepared-meal product lines include its vegetarian lasagna. (Commensal.com)

The Montreal parent firm for the Pizza Delight, Baton Rouge, Toujours Mikes and Scores restaurant chains is stepping out of the prepared meals business.

Imvescor Restaurant Group announced Tuesday it has reached a deal to sell its Groupe Commensal subsidiary to Montreal processor Pasta Romana Foods for about $4.2 million.

Commensal markets vegetarian refrigerated and frozen prepared dishes, soups, stews and sauces through major supermarkets, grocers and health food stores in Quebec and in health food stores in Ontario.

Imvescor said Tuesday its management recently agreed on a plan to sell Boisbriand-based Commensal to better focus on its restaurant franchising business and “to remain an asset-light entity.”

Imvescor’s remaining products in the retail grocery market are items connected to its restaurant chains, including Baton Rouge pulled pork, fries, barbecue sauce, marinade and coleslaw, Mikes pizzas, pasta sauces, pizza sauces and sliced pepperoni, and Scores pork ribs.

Proceeds from the Commensal deal, which is expected to close before the end of Imvescor’s second fiscal quarter of fiscal 2017, are expected to support the company’s “strategic acquisition strategy of brands that complement its existing portfolio.”

Imvescor completed its most recent acquisition at the end of February, buying the Ben + Florentine breakfast and lunch dining chain for $17.7 million. The chain operates in Quebec and Ontario and recently expanded westward with a site in Winnipeg.

“The staff and management of Commensal have been a great team to work with and they continue to produce an exceptional product,” Imvescor CEO Frank Hennessey said in a release Tuesday. “We know that under the guidance of the Pasta Romana group, Commensal will continue to grow.”

Pasta Romana, a family business operating since 1996, makes fresh pastas, pasta sauces, pesto and packaged entrees such as tortellini, cannelloni, manicotti, ravioli and perline, marketing under its own brand name and to private-label clients. — AGCanada.com Network

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