Bob Evans has divided the farm.
With the previously announced sale of part of the company completed earlier this month, Bob Evans Farms will make and sell sausage and prepared foods -- such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese -- for grocery and food-service outlets. This is the portion of the company that will remain publicly traded.
The 523 Bob Evans restaurants now are the property of Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that also owns Red Lobster and California Pizza Kitchen.
The restaurant-management team will remain in New Albany. That's good news for the city, which draws more than 80 percent of its revenue from income-tax collections, according to spokesman Scott McAfee.
Of the 400 or so employees at the headquarters in New Albany, 100 to 125 remain with Bob Evans Farms.
The headquarters building is owned by Golden Gate Capital, as is the Bob Evans farm in Gallia County.
Bob Evans Farms will remain a tenant at the headquarters building for at least 18 months, but it does not have a long-term lease, said Mark Hood, chief financial officer of Bob Evans Farms.
If the company moves, it won't be far.
"We're not going to move out of Ohio," Hood said. "We're not going to move out of Columbus."
The two companies have agreed to aid each other in the transition for 18 months and signed a five-year contract to supply sausage and potatoes to the restaurants.
The companies also agreed to joint ownership of any intellectual property -- recipes, etc.
Former Bob Evans Farms CEO Saed Mohseni will transition to Golden Gate Capital and remain in charge of the restaurant division. He will get a $1.2 million payment and other compensation for stepping down as CEO.
Mike Townsley, former president of Bob Evans' food division, is now CEO of Bob Evans Farms.
Bob Evans Farms also completed the acquisition of Maine-based Pineland Farms Potato Co., which makes packaged mashed potatoes for retail sale.
Golden Gate paid $565 million for the Bob Evans restaurants. Net proceeds of the sale are expected to be at least $475 million.
Bob Evans Farms paid off debt with the money from the sale and plans to issue a one-time dividend of $7.50 per share later this month.
Bob Evans shares have soared since the sale was announced earlier this year. The stock has traded at or near an all-time high and has almost doubled in value compared to a year ago.