Area Development
Protenergy Natural Foods in Cambridge, Maryland, a Canadian-based food processing company, will be acquired by Illinois-based TreeHouse Foods for $150 million, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development reported.

As a result, Protenergy’s Cambridge facility, the Company’s first and only location in the United States, will be upgraded as part of the acquisition. TreeHouse plans to invest $6 million to purchase new equipment and increase capacity at the Eastern Shore operation, creating 35 additional jobs.

“Protenergy has been an outstanding corporate partner and employer on the Eastern Shore, adding to the diversity and caliber of our manufacturing industry in Maryland,” said Dominick Murray, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “We welcome TreeHouse Foods and look forward to working with them to add new jobs and grow in our State.”

“We are delighted to welcome Protenergy Natural Foods and its innovative capabilities in premium food and beverage to the TreeHouse family,” said Sam K. Reed, Chairman/President/CEO of TreeHouse Foods.

“Manufacturing has been the very fabric of Dorchester County’s history. We are pleased with the acquisition of Protenergy by TreeHouse Foods and the 35 new jobs coming to Dorchester County,” said Keasha Haythe, CEcD, Dorchester County Economic Development Director. “The County looks forward to a long and productive relationship with Treehouse. Additionally, we are thankful for the seamless state and county partnership which served to help facilitate this acquisition.”

Formed in 2004, Protenergy is headquartered in Richmond Hill, in Ontario, Canada. The company manufactures quality food and beverage products, specializing in soups, sauces, and broths.

According to the state Department of Business and Economic Development, Initially Protenergy intended to take the equipment to a planned facility in Indiana. But DBED officials worked with the company and encouraged them to stay in Cambridge to take advantage of the strategic location and highly-skilled workforce.

As a result, Protenergy canceled its plans for an Indiana facility and decided to purchase the former FoodSwing building and grow in Maryland. Within a year, the company announced plans to significantly expand its production capacity and hire as many as 100 new full-time employees. To assist with the expansion, DBED approved a $1.5 million State-backed loan guarantee; $8.5 million in Maryland Industrial Development Authority issued Tax Exempt Bonds; and a $250,000 conditional loan though the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund program. The company ended up exceeding expectations by more than tripling its workforce to 150 employees.