Wichita-based maker of coffee creamer sells to California company

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A Wichita businessman has sold his remaining stake in Wichita-based KanPak and KanPak China to a large food processor and distributor.

Dennis Cohlmia, founder and chairman of the two companies, sold out to Golden State Foods, of Irvine, Calif., according to a Golden State release.

KanPak produces an array of aseptic dairy products, which are sealed so as not to require refrigeration, including coffee creamers, soft-serve ice cream and smoothies. Most of the products go to food service, rather than retail sales.

KanPak was founded in 1965 and has a plant in Arkansas City. Cohlmia went international early, starting operations in Mexico and Latin America in the late 1990s, and China in the early 2000s.

Golden State bought majority stakes of KanPak China in 2012 and KanPak U.S. in 2013.

The two KanPak companies have eight facilities and more than 800 employees worldwide. The sale will not affect the workforce in Arkansas City, the company said.

Cohlmia wanted to pursue other business opportunities, according to the release.

“We appreciate Dennis and his family for their entrepreneurial spirit in establishing KanPak five decades ago, along with his knowledge and expertise of aseptic processing,” said Mark Wetterau, chairman and chief executive of Golden State Foods.

“We are grateful for his insight and willingness to partner with Golden State Foods in recent years to expand the company’s product offerings and services throughout the world and take the company to the next level.”

Larry McGill will continue to serve as president and chief executive of KanPak U.S. He and his team will continue to grow the company to expand its products and services to best serve Golden State’s customers in their growing markets, the release said.

Dan Voorhis: 316-268-6577, @danvoorhis