Schwan’s launched a publicity offensive in May to promote its soon-to-open Edwards Dessert Kitchen in the upscale North Loop of Minneapolis, once the frayed-edge warehouse district of town.
Edwards sweets-oriented eatery, the first retail outlet for Schwan’s, got mouth-watering coverage for its bright shop in the renovated Lowry-Morrison building, on Washington Avenue and 2nd Avenue N.
“Unapologetic indulgence is what we are about here,” Stacey Fowler, a Schwan’s senior vice president, told the Star Tribune on Monday. The Marshall-rooted company, whose executives are based in Bloomington, is known for frozen pizzas and yellow-green delivery trucks.
However, Schwan's is tight-lipped on the size of its North Loop investment—or whether it’s for sale.
Late last year, Schwan’s reportedly hired investment banker Piper Jaffray to explore a sale or other options. Wall Street has speculated that a deal for the privately held company could be worth up to $2.5 billion. The getting has been great for sellers in the red-hot mergers-and-acquisitions market since 2012.
Founded in 1953 as a home meal-delivery business, Schwan’s is one of the nation’s largest private companies, with about $3 billion in annual sales.
It has roughly $260 million in before-tax operating profit, according to CNBC.
Schwan’s has faced increased competition from online meal-kit and grocery-delivery startups. It also had to adjust to consumer preferences for fresh foods and away from Schwan’s stable of frozen entrees. While Schwan’s gold trucks still deliver meals to up to 1.35 million customers, the company has entered other businesses that might attract a suitor, or parcel off disparate businesses to several buyers. It owns Red Baron, Freschetta and Tony’s pizza brands as well as Mrs. Smith’s pies and Edwards desserts.
A Schwan’s spokeswoman, who declined to comment on sale speculation, said the company of 12,000 workers has sales of about $3 billion.
In addition to corporate offices in in Marshall and Bloomington, Schwan's operates four home-delivery in the Twin Cities area.