Minneapolis, Minn.-based Pipeline is a supplier of organic and non-GMO grains and oilseeds operating several processing facilities in the Western Hemisphere that was formed in 2017 by New York City-based private equity firm AMERRA Capital Management and Delaware corporation, Pipeline Opportunity Partners LLC.
Sepich will succeed interim CEO and AMERRA managing director, Robert Hodgen, who replaced founder and chairman, Eric Jackson, in the position earlier this year.
From 2016 until being hired at Pipeline, Sepich was senior vice president at Compass Minerals International Inc. (NYSE:CMP), the largest salt producer in North America and biggest producer of sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer producer in the Western Hemisphere.
Prior to Compass, Sepich held a variety of executive roles over a 12-year period at ADM, most recently as president of the agribusiness giant’s European corn milling division.
“The board, along with the executive team of Pipeline Foods, were unanimous in their decision to bring [Sepich] on,” said Hodgen. “His strong operating and customer solutions-focused background, combined with a clear ability to drive profits, are characteristics that we value at AMERRA. We’re also enthusiastic about his change management experience, which will be incredibly useful at a company as fast-growing as Pipeline Foods.”
Pipeline’s flagship facility in Minneapolis was initially certified organic for handling by Quality Assurance International (QAI) in May 2017 but was recertified in June 2018. A second organic certificate for handling was granted for the same facility by Oregon Tilth in September 2018.
In October 2017, Pipeline acquired its third U.S. grain elevator in Lignite, N.D., which was certified organic for handling by QAI in August 2017. The company said the 3,500-metric-ton, Lignite facility supplements its storage and origination program in Saskatchewan, Canada, where it recently acquired two grain elevators certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd.
The company also maintains a facility in Malden, Mo., that was certified organic by QAI in October 2017, as well as two organic certificates for facilities in Argentina through its Pipeline Foods Southern Cone S.R.L. business – one granted in November 2017 by certification agency Organizacion Internacional AgropecuariaI, and the other in July 2017 by Food Safety S.A.
In February, Pipeline acquired the specialty and organic soy and corn business of SunOpta Inc. for $66.5 million. The deal included several SunOpta facilities, including three that are certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI): Hope, Minn., Blooming Prairie, Minn., and Cresco, Iowa.
As part of the deal, SunOpta and Pipeline entered into a multi-year supply agreement for certain ingredients used in SunOpta’s consumer products business. SunOpta sells products under the Sunrich Naturals, Nature’s Finest, and Pure Nature brands.
VIDEO: Watch Pipeline Foods’ sustainable supply chains video