California company acquires Reading-based Lentz Milling

'JM Swank is the perfect fit for our company'

LOS ANGELES - A California company has acquired a Reading-based distributor of food ingredients.

Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, announced Thursday that it will merge Lentz Milling Company with JM Swank, an Iowa-based food distributor that Platinum acquired from ConAgra Foods in 2016.

Officials said the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is a win-win for both companies.

"Lentz has been serving customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast for over 75 years and has a well-earned reputation for quality service," said Shawn Meaney," JM Swank's CEO. "This will immediately expand our presence in the region and create a strong platform to grow."

Lentz, located on North 11th Street in Reading, primarily distributes bakery-related products, including flour, sugar, and sweeteners, to food manufacturers, commercial and retail bakeries, and other customers in 10 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states and the District of Columbia.

"JM Swank is the perfect fit for our company," said Lentz president Ted Lentz, who will stay on after his company's transition to new ownership. "This transaction will allow us to continue running our existing operations while providing greater access to capital and an expanded product line that we can offer to both new and existing customers."

Lentz's great-grandfather, Jake Lentz, started the business as a flour mill in the Leesport area 75 years ago. After World War II, the family closed the mill and shifted its focus to growing its distribution business, prompting the need to relocate to its current facility in 1969.

Officials did not say whether any of Lentz's employees will be impacted by the merger.

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