UPDATED: Roberta’s Inc. Completes C. Raker & Sons Acquisition
Editor’s Note: Last week, it was announced the acquisition of C. Raker & Sons had been completed by Roberta’s Inc. GPN caught up with Susie Raker-Zimmerman and Eric Wallien to find out more about the acquisition and what the future holds for the new company.
On Dec. 1, 2017, the company formerly known as C. Raker and Sons, Inc. in Litchfield, Michigan, was officially purchased by Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. of Waldron, Indiana.
The acquisition was previously announced last September.
The new name of the Raker business is Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants.
Susie Raker-Zimmerman, who had been general manager at C. Raker & Sons, is now vice president of Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants.
Roberta’s had been a Raker customer since 2011 so Wallien was very familiar with the company.
He talked to Raker-Zimmerman at Cultivate’17 last summer and found out that the company was facing some pressure from its bank and was exploring its options for the future. It was then that Wallien expressed interest in buying the company.
Wallien was impressed with Raker-Zimmerman and the team in Litchfield. He saw the opportunities and synergies for the two companies so the acquisition made sense to him.
The acquisition allows Wallien to diversify his business and for Raker to operate under a new and improved financial structure.
Both Raker-Zimmerman and Wallien said the transaction has gone very well and they are looking forward to 2018.
“Our core business of producing young plants is not going anywhere,” Raker-Zimmerman said. “it is one of the reasons Eric was interested in working with us.”
“We are going to continue to do what we do well — supply young plants to small- to mid-sized growers” she said. “Roberta’s was a really good fit for us because it allows us to continue do what we have always done.”
She adds, “We haven’t lost any of our key players. Our [former Raker] team is intact and ready to tackle the future!”
Also effective Dec. 1, was Gerry Raker’s previously planned retirement. Gerry, his brother Dave, and nephew Roy, founded the young plant company in the late 1970s.
The office location, phone and fax numbers for the company will remain the same: