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Salinas, CA -- Knobeloch Jenkins Associates LLC announced Sept. 25 the formation of a collaborative strategic partnership with Bancroft Partners LLC, a San Francisco-based financial advisory firm, serving companies, entrepreneurs and investors.

This new partnership is focused on enhancing value within the fresh produce and perishables industries, collaborating in identifying, developing and supporting merger and acquisition transactions within the space. This partnership between BP and KJA advances their collective strategic focus of supporting business owners, investors, creditors, boards of directors and executive management teams. The combination of merger and acquisition and industry expertise created through this collaborative partnership will enable rapid assimilation and advancement of opportunities vs. historical practice, according to a Sept. 25 company press release.

Bancroft Partners is comprised of a team of experienced bankers and industry executives led by founder and managing partner David B. Sloan. Its investment banking services include merger and acquisitions, private placements and restructurings as well as the provision of discrete strategic advisory services to lead investors and entrepreneurs on their portfolio companies.

Transactions completed among this team range in size from interim financings below $1 million to multi-billion dollar merger-and-acqusition transactions. Its professionals apply lessons learned, from this vast array of successfully completed transactions and advisory assignments to each client and each mandate. Industries served include consumer and agribusiness, general manufacturing, financial services, media and technology.

Mr. Sloan's investment banking experience includes over 15 years with J.P. Morgan. From 1997 to 2003, he established and developed J.P. Morgan's mergers-and-acquisition franchise in Asia. He subsequently joined one of the world's leading food and agriculture finance houses, Rabobank, as head of West Coast mergers and acqusitions before establishing BP in 2006.

His transaction experience spans over 14 countries, 16 industries and aggregates over $20 billion in volume. He is a general securities representative licensed with the financial industry regulatory authority and holds Series 7 and 63 securities licenses.

Knobeloch Jenkins Associates (www.KJA-USA.com) was formed earlier this year by principals Bruce Knobeloch and Robert V. Jenkins. Their business is focused on "providing business solutions to the fresh produce and perishables industries," targeted toward supporting business owners, investors, creditors, boards of directors, executive management and project management teams, according to the release.

Services offered include supporting and enhancing a client's strategic planning processes; assessing their business plan and structure toward achieving "best practices"; improving their corporate performance management, both operationally and financially; evaluating a company's marketing, brand management and product development efforts; and evaluating their compliance with a variety of regulatory requirements. KJA also offers interim executive management solutions to both distressed companies and others who may be under-achieving from a profit and efficient operations perspective.

Mr. Jenkins' professional experience in the fresh food industry spans the past 26 years. He has held executive management positions ranging from chief financial officer to chief operations officer to president to CEO for companies whose products were market-share leaders in private brand salads, spinach and other value-added produce as well as key commodities of lettuce, broccoli, asparagus and other fresh vegetables grown throughout North America and South America.

Equally varied were his companies' international base of customers, encompassing the full spectrum of the retail and foodservice markets in North America, Europe and the Far East.

In addition to successfully and profitably leading several prominent California-based fresh vegetable processor-shippers, Mr. Jenkins has had extensive experience in acquisitions, mergers, divestitures, operating and capital restructuring initiatives. Active roles on several boards of directors and working with leading world class management teams has strengthened his experience, creating a proven track record of enhancing company performance, balancing strategic vision with tactical execution and driving growth in shareholder value.

Mr. Knobeloch learned the fresh foods trade from the ground up, first as a produce clerk and produce manager, then as a produce buyer, category manager and director of produce and floral for Schnuck Markets Inc., a privately held supermarket chain headquartered in St. Louis.

He has taken his procurement and merchandising expertise and expanded upon it this past decade, gaining valuable insight and experience on the fresh produce supply side of the equation, holding executive management positions ranging from the vice president of corporate development to vice president of sales and marketing to chief operating officer.

Each of these opportunities and challenges offered him the ability to gain tremendous insight to the value added and commodity fresh food industries. His ability to understand, identify and communicate the needs of customers and their consumers while understanding and balancing the internal -- operational to financial -- needs of the supplier have proven invaluable assets to the companies which have benefited from his efforts.

"We are very excited to be working with Dave Sloan and the Bancroft Partners team as we jointly explore opportunities for consolidation on the supply side of the fresh industry," Mr. Jenkins said in the release. "We have a great deal of respect for their talent and accomplishments and look forward to the expanded resources that we collectively bring to our client partners."