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Business

Horseradish bottler Gold selling itself to investment firm

Marc Gold, who owns Gold Pure Food Products

Marc Gold, who owns Gold Pure Food Products with his brother Steven Gold, at the company's Hempstead warehouse on March 22, 2011. The company that makes the well-known Gold's horseradish is being sold in August 2015. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Gold Pure Food Products Co., the Hempstead-based company known for its bottled horseradish, has agreed to be acquired by LaSalle Capital, a Chicago-based private investment firm that focuses on small businesses. A price wasn't disclosed.

The purchase marks the first time the 83-year-old company will not be majority-owned by the Gold family. Owners Marc and Steven Gold will maintain an investment in the former family business, which will combine with another LaSalle company, Rutland, Vermont-based Westminster Cracker Co., Marc Gold said late Tuesday. He declined to say how big their investment is.

The brothers will also stay on as consultants "for an indefinite period," Gold said.

Steven Gold, 65, said Wednesday that he and his brother, 67, decided to sell because the new owner could grow the company.

"We sort of weren't aggressively looking for new business," Steven Gold said. "Now you have people coming in who are going to be. They have a very long shopping list of things they want to do."

The new owner will keep the Hempstead plant and upgrade it, Marc Gold said. He also said that none of the 54 employees would lose their jobs.

"Every employee is going to keep their job," he said. "My information is that everything looks good."

Steven Gold said the new owner actually plans to add workers.

"I think we are going to have a lot more workers than we had in the past," he said.

Last month, the company filed a layoff notice with the state warning of layoffs connected to the sale. Jerry Fasano, president of Teamsters Local 802 Bakery and Warehouse Division in Baldwin, which represents 35 Gold warehouse workers, said at the time that the company filed the notice just a week in advance of the layoffs, rather than the 90 days New York State requires. He said Gold was planning to lay off employees and make them reapply for nonunion jobs.

Fasano said community pressure made the company change its mind about canceling the contract.

"We got a call saying they would renegotiate," Fasano said.

Marc Gold declined to answer questions about the union.

Gold Pure Food was started in Brooklyn in 1932 and moved to Hempstead in 1993. The company, Marc Gold said, is the official mustard and ketchup provider for Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and the Mets.

LaSalle has invested in more than 30 companies to "drive growth and create value," its website says. Its portfolio also includes Violet Packing, a New Jersey company that sells tomato-based products such as Don Pepino pizza sauce, and The Academy of Healing Arts, a Las Vegas for-profit vocational school focusing on entry-level health care career programs.

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