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JBT Corporation, a global technology solutions provider to high-value segments of the food and beverage industry, announced it has acquired Urtasun Tecnología Alimentaria S.L., a provider of fruit and vegetable processing solutions. The company is headquartered in Navarra, Spain.

“The acquisition of Urtasun expands our product offering in fruit and vegetable processing, particularly in the fresh packaged and frozen markets,” said Brian Deck, President and Chief Executive Officer. “By integrating Urtasun into FoodTech, we can leverage JBT’s global sales and service footprint to accelerate growth.”

The purchase price was approximately $40 million. Urtasun expects 2021 revenue of approximately $25 million with Adjusted EBITDA margins in the mid to high-teens. The transaction is expected to be approximately four cents dilutive to 2021 GAAP earnings per share and one cent dilutive on an adjusted basis which excludes transaction-related costs and purchase price accounting. In 2022, Urtasun is expected to be accretive to GAAP and adjusted earnings per share by approximately three cents.

AutoCoding’s software solution automates and integrates in-line packaging systems, such as labelers, scanners, coders and checkweighers

JBT Corporation, a global technology solutions provider to high-value segments of the food and beverage industry, has announced the acquisition of AutoCoding Systems Ltd, a leading provider of software solutions for the automated set-up and control of end-of-line packaging devices. AutoCoding extends JBT’s capabilities in packaging line equipment and associated devices, including coding and label inspection and verification. The company is headquartered near Runcorn, UK, with additional operations in the US and Australia, and generates approximately $7 million in annual revenue.

AutoCoding’s central command software solution integrates and automates the use of in-line packaging devices, such as coders, scanners, labelers, and checkweighers, reducing manual inspection and downtime for line configuration. While AutoCoding is scalable across JBT FoodTech’s diverse end markets, it provides a particularly strategic fit with JBT’s Proseal business where its tray sealing equipment begins the end-of-line process.

“AutoCoding’s offering embodies JBT’s broader mission to make better use of the world’s precious resources by providing a solution that substantially enhances our customers’ success. AutoCoding helps its customers reduce food waste, ensure complete and accurate food packaging information, and facilitate traceability and food safety,” said Brian Deck, JBT’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The acquisition also expands our capabilities in the large and growing global market for in-line coding and inspection solutions, which includes hardware and software for food & beverage, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical customers.”

JBT is a leading global technology solutions provider to the food & beverage industry with focus on proteins, liquid foods and automated system solutions. JBT designs, produces and services sophisticated products and systems for multi-national and regional customers through its FoodTech segment. JBT employs approximately 6,200 people worldwide and operates sales, service, manufacturing and sourcing operations in over 25 countries.

JBT Corporation announced that Brian Deck will resume his role as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Following further discussions with JBT’s Board of Directors, Tom Giacomini has decided that he is unable to return as Chief Executive Officer of JBT and has stepped down, effective immediately, to focus on his health and recovery. He has also resigned from the Board of Directors.

Alan Feldman will continue in his role as Non-Executive Chairman on a permanent basis. Matt Meister, Vice President and CFO for JBT Protein, has been named Interim Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Meister joined JBT in May 2019 and has responsibility for all finance activity for the Protein Division within the FoodTech segment. He brings a strong track record of driving results and developing process improvements in complex, global businesses to the role of Interim CFO.

The Board has initiated a search to identify a permanent CEO and will retain a leading executive search firm to assist in the process. It will consider both internal and external candidates.

“Over the past few months, Brian and the senior management team have demonstrated outstanding leadership of JBT and we are confident in their ability to continue executing the Company’s strategy while the Board conducts a search for a permanent successor,” said Mr. Feldman. “I look forward to continuing to work with Brian and to leveraging his financial and operational expertise as we focus on ensuring the continued health and safety of our employees and serving our customers.”

Mr. Feldman added, “We owe Tom a great debt of gratitude for spearheading JBT’s transformation over the past seven years. Under his leadership, JBT has generated a significant increase in shareholder value, while laying a strong foundation from which to continue delivering for stakeholders. Today, JBT benefits from a disciplined long-term strategy that focuses on growth and margin expansion while delivering exceptional products and services to its customers. Tom also played a key role in assembling our dynamic team of leaders whose significant expertise will further the strategy and continue to drive results. On behalf of everyone at JBT, I send my very best wishes to Tom, including the sincere hope for his improved health.”

About Matt Meister

Matt Meister joined JBT in May 2019 with extensive experience in global manufacturing across various industries, including his prior roles at IDEX Corporation where he held several operational finance leadership roles, most recently serving as Group Vice President, Health and Science Technologies.  Prior to joining IDEX, he held various roles of increasing responsibility at Navistar International Corporation. Mr. Meister holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an undergraduate degree in Finance and Operations Management from Washington University in St. Louis.

JBT Corporation (NYSE: JBT) is a leading global technology solutions provider to high-value segments of the food & beverage industry with focus on proteins, liquid foods and automated system solutions. JBT designs, produces and services sophisticated products and systems for multi-national and regional customers through its FoodTech segment. JBT also sells critical equipment and services to domestic and international air transportation customers through its AeroTech segment. JBT Corporation employs approximately 6,300 people worldwide and operates sales, service, manufacturing and sourcing operations in more than 25 countries.

New system will enable companies to substantially improve capacity and operational performance, dramatically cutting rejection rates in the process JBT Corporation has announced the launch of a new solution for filling flexible pouches commonly used in the infant nutrition and sports drinks categories, which could spark further market growth for the sector. The JBT AsepFlex™ Linear Pouch Filler has been developed to overcome problems associated with current pouch packaging, including a high rejection rate and low capacity.

The market of flexible packaging is growing, with pouches becoming the preferred option for processors and consumers thanks to their non-breakable, lightweight, easy to open, and easy to empty (squeezable) characteristics. In the infant nutrition category flexible pouches are expected to grow their market share by 10 % each year.

However, growth in the category has been restricted by limits to current pouch filling technology. The two existing shelf stable pouch solutions both suffer from significant drawbacks. Solutions using an aseptic form fill seal typically have a low capacity and a high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to a high rejection rate. Hot fill with retort sterilization solutions, meanwhile, often have low (120 ppm) capacity and low product quality.

The JBT AsepFlex Linear Pouch Filler has been developed to solve the problems with these existing solutions by substantially improving capacity and operational performance. With a capacity as high as 500 ppm – or 30,000 pouches per hour – the fully aseptic solution is designed in accordance with the FDA guidelines for low acid aseptically filled food products and can achieve an impressive operational performance, with a 95 % efficiency rate and a typical reject rate of only 0.5 %.

JBT Product Manager, Bert Krakers, said: “Apart from capacity and aseptic integrity, the AsepFlex Filler offers flexibility. Pouch formats and sizes can be changed on the fly without the necessity to change parts.”

The filling system, he explained, can fill a wide range of products from water-like liquids through to high viscous products, such as smoothies with particulates. It can also be equipped with a nitrogen dosing system to reduce the oxygen in the headspace of the pouch, which limits the chemical deterioration (oxidation) of the product, helping maximize product shelf life in the process.

The JBT AsepFlex Filler has been designed for use with infant nutrition products, such as fruit and vegetable purees, and ready-to-drink baby food, as well as sports and breakfast drinks ‘on-the-go’, and nutraceutical products. A first AsepFlex filling unit in Europe has recently been supplied to a leading specialist in infant nutrition.

Combined solution for small and medium-sized juice processors is ideal for creating premium fruit and vegetable blends

JBT Corporation (NYSE: JBT), a leading solutions provider for food and beverage processors, has introduced a complete, combined solution for small and medium-sized juice processors who are seeking a more efficient, effective and simpler-to-clean system than typical batch bag press solutions. A combination of three pieces of equipment, JBT’s Fruit and Vegetable Processing Solution is ideal for premium juices and blends produced by smaller juice marketers.

The solution can be assembled using three JBT unit operations:
a) an FVX5 fruit and vegetable extractor, which receives the raw products and performs the initial size reduction;
b) an FTE50 Turbo Finisher, which produces a puree from the mash created with the FVX5; and,
c) an optional screw or paddle finisher to deliver juice with a medium-to-high solid content.
For a very thin product, the juice can also be sent through a decanting system.

According to Michael Mas, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fruit and Vegetable Processing, a number of these combined solutions have been sold over recent months with more expected to follow. “It’s aimed at super premium products, you can use it for juices, blends and drinks; we have one in the United States creating blended drinks from apples, carrots, ginger, and leafy greens,” explains Mas.

“The system is for smaller processors looking to move from batch processing,” he continues. “The typical equipment for smaller processors is a batch press where the fruit is cut up and placed in a bag which squeezes the fruit to extract the juice. You then have to open the bag and throw away the leftover mash and clean the bag, but it’s not the easiest system to clean.”

By contrast, JBT’s system offers a seamless flow, which delivers continuous flow processing instead of having to do batches, with a flexibility that allows companies to blend in fruits and vegetables during the process. “If you want to have, for example, a mix of apples, carrot and kale, you can throw them all into the same hopper and it blends on a continuous basis,” says Mas.

“Hygienic design and cleanability are also key design features. With a bag press, you have to physically clean it, wash it and maybe put it in caustic soda to make sure the bag is clean. With a CIP capable process, you can hook it up and run it through a complete cleaning process without being forced to take everything apart,” he adds.