Galaxy Nutritional Foods, one of the top natural and organic food manufacturers in the United States, announced the hiring of Rick Antonelli as the company’s new president and CEO on July 28, 2009. Antonelli brings more than 25 years of natural & organic industry experience to the Orlando, Florida-based company. Antonelli was most recently the executive vice president and chief operating officer of United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI). He also served on the boards of several private natural & organic food companies.
“I am very excited that Galaxy’s new CEO is an individual with the caliber of industry and operational experience that Rick has,” said Tim Krieger, managing member of Galaxy Partners. “His track record of success speaks for itself.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead Galaxy to new levels of growth,” said Antonelli in a prepared statement. “Galaxy has always been known as the leader in the cheese alternative market and we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition and building on it. We will work hard to both strengthen our core products, as well as add new lines in the food and non-food categories, that will offer our customers an even wider selection of the great natural and organic products they have come to expect from Galaxy Nutritional Foods.”
In February 2009, Mill Road Capital and Galaxy Partners purchased all outstanding shares of Galaxy Foods’ stock and announced its intentions to operate as a privately held company. “As a shareholder of the company for several years now, it is clear that the increasing costs of continuing as a small, illiquid, publicly traded company far outweigh any benefits,” said Justin Jacobs, a managing director at Mill Road.
Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ Veggie brand is the No. 1 soy-based cheese alternative. It reported a decline in its fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2008, and cited a substantial increase in costs to one of its primary ingredients, casein. The company forecasted higher gross profit margins for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.
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