Oberto Brands has been a Kent institution since 1978 when it moved its headquarters to the King County suburb.

Founded in Seattle in 1918, the jerky manufacturer owns the brands Oberto, Pacific Gold, Pacific Gold Reserve, Lowrey’s and Cattleman’s Cut. Oberto is one of the largest manufacturers of jerky in North America. The company employs nearly 500 people.

Oberto Brands has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the vast majority of the company’s assets and operations to Premium Brands. Other Washington state assets owned by the Vancouver, B.C.-based premium food distribution company include sandwich maker SK Food Group and Hempler’s cured meat products from Ferndale, WA — which acquired Kent-based sausage-maker Insernio’s in 2015.

“We are very proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved over the past 100 years as a family owned and operated business. Transitions are always difficult, but we are confident this transaction will best position Oberto for future success,” said Chairman Emeritus of Oberto, Art Oberto. “In Premium Brands, we have found a partner that will not only honor the traditions, values, and people that are at the heart of Oberto’s success, but also one that shares our vision for the future. They are the right partner to take us forward and strengthen the legacy built by our family.”

The spokesperson for Oberto, Marc Berger, confirmed that the company’s headquarters will remain in Kent.

Oberto’s sale to Premium Brands will likely close within the next four to six weeks. The purchase puts Oberto in an optimum position for growth. Since its acquisition by Premium Brands in 2011, Hempler Foods Group’s combined annual sales have grown from less than $130 million to $560 million in 2017. The Oberto and Premium Brands partnership will hopefully bring similar success.