Orange County Business Journal

Golden State Foods Buys Illinois Distributor

Jane Yu Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Irvine-based food processor and distributor Golden State Foods Corp. has acquired Gateway Distribution Inc. in Lebanon, Ill.

The buy adds to Golden State’s operations in the Midwest and expands its business with McDonald’s Corp.

Golden State will continue Gateway’s business of servicing more than 350 McDonald’s restaurants in parts of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky. Gateway’s 160 workers will boost Golden State Foods’ headcount to about 4,500 worldwide, including about 50 at its Irvine headquarters.

McDonald’s has been a key customer for Golden State since the 1950s and accounts for a bulk of the company’s revenue, which recently topped $5.4 billion and is expected to grow to about $6 billion following the Gateway acquisition.

Golden State services more than 25,000 fast food restaurants and stores in 50 countries. Its roster of customers includes Starbucks Corp., Yum! Brands Inc. and Chick-fil-A.

The acquisition follows the retirement of Gateway’s Chief Executive Bill Dowling.