Riviana Foods Inc. announced today that it will offer for sale its rice milling, storage and drying facilities in South Louisiana. The sale will include its rice milling, drying and storage operations in Abbeville, drying and storage facilities in Kaplan and Crowley, and storage facilities in Jennings and Rayne.



According to Riviana President and Chief Executive Officer W. David Hanks, the Company will honor its commitment to purchase rice from southern Louisiana rice growers in 2006, and pending a sale during that time, the Company will continue to operate the facilities through the rice harvest season.



"This has been a very difficult decision," Mr. Hanks said. "Our company was founded in Abbeville in 1911, and we have strong ties to the people of South Louisiana. At this time in our history, however, we simply operate in too many locations. In order to compete and economically provide the highest quality products and services to our markets throughout the United States, we must consolidate some of our operations."



Hanks said that Riviana is hopeful that a buyer can be found and that the facilities will continue to operate. Currently, a total of 79 employees work at the facilities.



Based in Houston, Texas, Riviana Foods Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebro Puleva, S.A., the leading Spanish food group, with interests in sugar, dairy, rice and pasta products. Its brands include Puleva(R) dairy products, Azucarera(R) sugar, the Cigala(R), Brilliante(R) and Nomen(R) rice brands and Panzani(R) pasta. Riviana is one of the largest processors, marketers and distributors of branded and private-label rice products in the United States. Its principal brands include Mahatma(R), Carolina(R) and Success(R). The Company has additional food operations in Central America. Visit our website at http://www.riviana.com.



Source: Riviana Foods Inc.