ConAgra Foods sells North Liberty company

J.M. Swank will be owned by global investment firm

ConAgra Foods logo
ConAgra Foods logo

ConAgra Foods on Wednesday said it has sold J.M. Swank, a North Liberty food ingredient and distribution business, to a California-based private equity firm.

Platinum Equity of Los Angeles is a global investment firm with a portfolio of approximately 25 operating companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

J.M. Swank, founded in 1954 as a bakery broker, became part of ConAgra Foods in 1992. The company, which became a distributor in 1963. provides more than 2,000 ingredients for bakery, snacks and confectionary, dairy and beverage, meat, poultry and seafood, and prepared foods.

J.M. Swank, which has its corporate offices and a central distribution center in North Liberty, has branch offices and distribution centers in Chicago and Dallas. It employs 240 people companywide.

Platinum Equity CEO Tom Gores said in a news release that he expects strong collaboration with ConAgra Foods and his firm’s expertise in corporate divestitures to help ensure a seamless transition.

“We are proud of the relationship we’ve developed with ConAgra Foods and look forward to working together throughout the transition and beyond,” Gores said. “J.M. Swank is a leader in its industry and our team is excited to partner with management to help drive growth and create new value.”

Sean Connolly, president and CEO of ConAgra Foods, said in a news release that the company has a goal to drive greater shareholder value by making ConAgra Foods a more focused and higher performing company.


“The divestiture of J.M. Swank is the most recent step we have taken to allow us to drive growth by continuing to invest in our product portfolio,” Connolly said.

Omaha-based ConAgra Foods earlier this year sold its private label operations, including a plant in northeast Cedar Rapids, to TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion in cash.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.