Allens Inc. for Sale, Bankruptcy Filings Show

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

In 1936, Earl Allen’s 17-year-old son, Delbert, began working at the canning plant and managed the company’s books, according to a history compiled when Delbert Allen was inducted in the University of Arkansas’ Business Hall of Fame in 2007.

In the 1940s, the company grew by providing canned vegetables to the military during World War II and then to supermarkets after the war, according to the report by Hickman, Allens’ chief restructuring officer.

After Earl Allen’s death in 1948, Delbert Allen took control of the company.

“He built a sales and marketing department, developed branded products and established a generous profit-sharing program for all employees,” according to the Hall of Fame history.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Allens expanded “on a number of fronts to keep up with consumer demand and accommodate a growing slate of products,” Hickman said in his filing.

After Delbert Allen’s death in 1988, Allen family members continued to manage the business.

In 1999, Delbert Allen’s son, Roderick “Rick” Allen, bought out his brother, Delbert “Pete” Allen, and was the chairman and CEO until April 2013. Today, Rick Allen remains chairman of the board and his sons Josh and Nick are CEO and executive vice president.

Frozen Market

In the 1990s, Allens’ revenue climbed.

In 1997, Allens’ revenue was estimated at $200 million, and a year later it was more than $330 million, according to numbers the company provided to Arkansas Business for its annual list of the largest private companies in the state ranked by revenue.

In the 2000s, Allens expanded through acquisitions. In 2003, it bought the Veg-All brand of canned mixed vegetable from Birds Eye Foods Inc., and a year later it purchased Birds Eye’s Freshlike brand.

The acquisitions inflated Allens’ revenue to $409 million in 2005, which was up 11.1 percent from the previous year.



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