Henny Penny, a global leader in foodservice equipment solutions and the inventor of the first commercial pressure fryer, last week announced it has agreed to acquire Wood Stone Corporation, the leading global manufacturer of stone hearth cooking equipment. Henny Penny and Wood Stone, both growing industry leaders that manufacture in the U.S., bring together distinct core products and expertise with a focus on volume cooking and the dining experience, respectively. Their combined reach will strengthen each brand and expand the knowledgebase, global footprint and opportunity for market differentiation. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks.
“Wood Stone is one of the most highly respected brands in the foodservice equipment industry, and we’re big fans of the company’s products and its business philosophy and culture,” said Steve Cobb, chairman and CEO of Henny Penny. “The two companies possess unique capabilities, yet have similar backbones; we’re both employee-centric organizations that grew through innovation and commitment to customer-driven solutions.”
Henny Penny manufactures commercial-grade cooking, holding and merchandising equipment for thousands of restaurants, supermarkets and institutions around the world. Its expertise in volume manufacturing can influence go-to-market strategies for new and innovative products from Wood Stone. Wood Stone’s stone hearth ovens, rotisseries, planchas, charbroilers and tandoors enhance the dining experience for more than 13,000 restaurants in 75-plus countries.
Keith Carpenter, co-founder of Wood Stone, shared that the common values and strategic alignment of the two companies really solidified this union. “We never considered selling Wood Stone until we met and got to know Henny Penny. While our similarities are many, we’re convinced that our differences in scale, market reach and product technology can enhance the offerings and service we provide to our diverse customers and increase opportunities for our employees to learn and grow in this industry. This is an exciting time for Wood Stone; made even more so now with Henny Penny.”
Rob Connelly, president of Henny Penny, added: “We have admired Wood Stone for years as a leader and innovator in our industry. We’ve been deeply impressed by its commitment to the culinary experience and the quality of its products, and we will build on this expertise to broaden our range of foodservice equipment solutions for our growing customer base. In turn, we deliver to Wood Stone the scale and resources to manage accelerated growth. ”
Wood Stone remains a privately held company and will continue to operate and manufacture out of its facility in Bellingham, Wash. “With Henny Penny, Wood Stone will be able to innovate and grow without compromising its brand, core values and niche product offerings,” added Wood Stone president Kurt Eickmeyer. “We’re excited for what the future holds.”