VINELAND — An Ohio-based company is the new owner of a local enterprise with links to one of the region’s favorite sandwiches.

AdvancePierre Foods of Cincinnati recently bought Allied Specialty Foods Inc., which produces raw and cooked beef and chicken Philly steak products.

The $60 million cash purchase comes at a time when Allied is expanding its operation. The company will eventually move from its 20,000-square-foot facility in the 300 block of Hickory Place to a new 70,000-square-foot operation here in the first quarter of 2017.

AdvancePierre’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Sims said the company plans to add more employees to Allied’s workforce. The company has 130 full-time and 60 temporary employees, he said.

City economic development documents put the construction cost of the new facility, located at Forest Grove Road and Freddy Lane in one of the municipality’s industrial parks, at $13.4 million. City Economic Development Director Sandra Forosisky said Allied will move into a building whose shell was built before the national economy tanked in 2008 and remained vacant.

City documents also indicate Allied’s temporary employees will be made full-time workers. The company plans to increase its workforce by about 30 employees, the documents show.

Forosisky said the company’s expansion and promised new hires are good news for the city.

“This is good stuff,” she said.

AdvancePierre officials are also enthusiastic about the Allied takeover.

“We are pleased to add Allied’s synergistic product platform and unique capabilities to our existing portfolio and network,” said John Simons, AdvancePierre’s president. “The Philly steak category is primed for growth, and this acquisition strengthens our position, brings us additional products and production capability, and expands our geographic reach.”

Former Allied owner Steve Zoll will “not be involved moving forward,” Sims said.

According to AdvancePierre, Allied was founded in 1956 and became an “innovative leader” in the manufacture of raw and fully cooked Philly steak products. Allied’s customer base is predominantly in the food-service industry.

Allied’s current facility has two cook lines, three raw slicing lines and one breakaway steak line. The new facility will have seven raw slicing-breakaway lines and four cook lines, according to AdvancePierre.

AdvancePierre is a national producer of ready-to-eat sandwiches that include Philly steaks, hamburgers and peanut butter and jelly. Some of its other products include stuffed entrees, chicken tenders and cinnamon dough bites.

AdvancePierre said it posted $1.6 billion in revenue in 2014 and has more than 4,000 employees.

“The addition of Allied further expands AdvancePierre’s market-leading position in the Philly steak platform,” said Dean Hollis, chairman of AdvancePierre’s board of directors. This transaction is a great example of Advance–Pierre’s strategy of strengthening and growing its core business through disciplined … acquisitions.”

Contact: 609-226-9197 TBarlas@pressofac.com Twitter @acpressbarlas

Been writing for newspapers since junior year in high school. Was editor of the Glassboro State College newspaper. Started with The Press in October 1980 and have covered Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties, municipalities in all three counties.