D. Buyers getting out of juice business
Hawaii's Own is being purchased by its own management
D. Buyers Enterprises LLC is selling Hawaii's Own LLC, a marketer of frozen tropical juices.
Hilo-based D. Buyers said yesterday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Hawaii's Own to company executives Jim Walters and Cheryl Roemer as well as Walters' wife, Lindi, for an undisclosed price. The deal is expected to close Friday.
"It wasn't actively for sale, but because there was an offer for the company, it was in the best interest to sell it over to the management team," said D. Buyers Vice President Haidee Kanakanui.
Hawaii's Own, which has operated in Hawaii since 1959, is a maker of specialty tropical juices such as guava and strawberry. Its frozen concentrate was introduced on the mainland in 1989 and is now available in nine flavors in supermarkets in 20 Western states. Operations have been located in Sumner, Wash., since June 2000, Kanakanui said. The company will remain headquartered there, she said.
Jim Walters, who currently serves as national sales manager for Hawaii's Own, will become president and chief executive officer. Roemer, company controller, will assume the chief financial officer position. Current president Robert Ehrhart will stay on as a consultant. He is the only one of the company's five employees to leave during the buyout.
Hawaiian Juice Industries was purchased by the C. Brewer & Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed price in 1996 to bolster its specialty food product division and now operates as Hawaii's Own. Prior to the deal, C. Brewer's Kilauea Agronomics Inc. unit supplied Hawaii's Own with guava puree for its juice products. The closure of that orchard last year and the sale of Hawaii's Own leaves D. Buyers primarily as a real estate holdings company, Kanakanui said.
D. Buyers Enterprises was formed by the late J.W.A. "Doc" Buyers in 2001 after he bought the assets from C. Brewer & Co. Buyers died in May 2006 at the age of 77.