THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- Bakery goods company Flowers Foods is buying organic bread maker Dave's Killer Bread for about $275 million in cash.
Co-founder and namesake Dave Dahl told KGW Thursday he's excited about the sale, but it's bittersweet, too.
"I'm doing my best to be a good example now and watch others take over the company and make it a bigger company and more successful," he said.
Flowers Foods President and CEO Allen Shiver said in a written statement that Dave's organic products appeal to today's consumers.
There has been an ongoing shift within the food industry, with many consumers reaching for items they consider healthy or natural.
From January: Dave's Killer Bread goes national
Shiver added that the buyout will also help expand Flowers Foods Inc.'s reach into the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
Dave's Killer Bread originally began as Nature Bake in 1955. The company took the name of its best-selling bread variety in 2005. It now has 17 varieties of organic bakery products distributed across the U.S. and Canada. Dave's runs one bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon.
CEO John Tucker says the flavor customers love will not change and he expects the price to remain the same, too. He also says the 300 employees will stay put, and hopes to expand and hire more people in the future. He says they will continue their mission to hire people who have criminal backgrounds, and give them a second chance.
Dave's will run as an independent subsidiary once the transaction closes and is expected to continue expanding its Oregon operations.
The deal is targeted to close in the third quarter.
Co-founder and namesake Dave Dahl was arrested in Nov. 2013 after acting erratically and ramming police cars. He was found guilty except for insanity on assault charges.
In January, a judge granted him a conditional release. He thus avoided time in a mental health hospital, but he was placed under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board. Dahl must stay on medication, avoid alcohol, continue mental health treatment and may not drive.
CEO John Tucker tells KGW-TV once the transaction closes, Dahl will no longer own any part of the company.
"It is bittersweet but I've been working on getting my head right for the baby to grow. It's happening. And now I'm just going to kick back, and watch it grow and enjoy my life," said Dahl. "I'm doing my best to be a good example now, and watch others take over the company, and make it a bigger company, more successful. It needs go to around the world."
He added, "I'm feeling proud of what we've done. Proud of what's going to keep happening. The bread is going to be available to many more people now so that's a bittersweet thing. It's my baby. But it's not a baby anymore."
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