Los Angeles Business Journal

Overhill Shares Get Cooking Amid Transaction Talk

By James Rufus Koren Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shares of Vernon frozen food manufacturer Overhill Farms Inc. surged Tuesday, a day after the company announced it has hired investment banking firm Piper Jaffray & Co. to help it evaluate potential acquisition offers and other deals.

Shares of the company closed at $4.61 Tuesday, up about 16 percent from the previous day’s close of $4. Overhill executives aren’t giving any details, but say they have been approached with several proposed transactions, including acquisitions and joint ventures.

“With the assistance of Piper Jaffrey, we will explore these and other options and determine the best course for our shareholders, customers and employees,” said Overhill Chief Executive James Rudis in a statement Monday. Overhill executives did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday.

Following the Piper Jaffray announcement, Overhill, which makes frozen meals for grocery stores, restaurants and weight-loss company Jenny Craig, released results for the quarter ended July 1. The company posted profits of 4 cents per share, up from a loss of 2 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

Executives said Overhill improved sales even as the frozen food market declined, thanks largely to the company’s new line of Boston Market-branded meals, which started selling last year, and to increased sales to Panda Express-parent Panda Restaurant Group Inc. of Rosemead.