Goya’s Unanue, responding to reports, again says company is not for sale

By Tom Bergeron
Jersey City | Nov 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Goya Foods is not going to be sold — that much was clear Monday morning.

How much interest CEO Robert Unanue had in selling the company — and how seriously it was on the market — isn’t as clear.

Unanue, in a statement given to ROI-NJ and others, reiterated what he has said for months: The family-owned company is not looking for a buyer.

“As previously stated, Goya is not for sale,” Unanue said. “Goya is and will always be committed to building on our legacy of supporting our communities, established by our founding grandparents 83 years ago. We will never betray that mission.

File photo
Goya Foods CEO and President Robert Unanue.

“Through our Goya Gives program and other initiatives, we will continue to be socially responsible by giving back to the hundreds of organizations and charities we support, impacting millions of people worldwide.”

Goya, according to reports in the New York Post, was believed to be in talks with the Carlyle Group, a powerful private equity group.

According to the Post, any potential deal fell through based on the price (believed to be approximately $3.5 billion) and the family’s continued influence in running the company after the sale.

Goya was founded in New York City in 1936 by Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife, Carolina, both of whom were from Spain. It moved to New Jersey in 1974.

The company has grown to be the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the country and bills itself as the premier source for authentic Latino cuisine. Its products can be found in grocery stores from coast to coast and in much of the world, thanks to 26 facilities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain, and it employs more than 4,000 worldwide.

Goya has long been one of the most important companies in the state. In 2011, it received an $80 million tax credit from the state to stay in the state — and add jobs.

In 2015, Goya opened a new headquarters in Jersey City as part of a $250 million investment that included a 600,000-square-foot warehouse for distribution and 42,000-square-foot corporate office. It also renovated a 240,000-square-foot production facility in Secaucus, where it was previously headquartered.

Last month, when reports of a potential sale surfaced for the first time, Unanue told ROI-NJ the company was not on the market.

“Goya has a longstanding policy of not responding to rumors; however, the company is not for sale,” he said in a statement. “We are flattered, of course, that anyone would be interested in owning (such) an iconic brand and business as ours.”

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