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Smart Balance moving headquarters to Colorado but will keep staff in N.J.

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Citing a desire for greener pastures catering to its new focus on natural foods, Paramus-based Smart Balance Inc. today announced plans to move its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to Boulder, Colo., next year.

Calling Boulder the "Silicon Valley of natural foods," Smart Balance Chairman and CEO Steven B. Hughes said in a statement a corporate reorganization will enable the company to execute its new strategy "to become the leading health and wellness company building out and acquiring natural brands."

Aside from Smart Balance President and COO Terry Schulke leaving the company, "there will be no changes to our personnel in New Jersey," as the Paramus office plans to retain its approximately 45 current employees, said Carole Buyers, senior vice president of investor relations and business development for Smart Balance.

"Paramus is a significant office," Buyers said. "I don't think you're going to see any impact from a negative standpoint in New Jersey."

The Paramus office will maintain the finance, operations, customer service and research and development segments of both branches after the restructuring is completed in the third quarter of 2013, according to Buyers.

However, Buyers said the company plans to increase its staff in Boulder and change its corporate name to Boulder Brands Inc. to accommodate its expansion in the natural foods market.

A spokesman for the office of Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno did not return requests for comment regarding attempts by the state government to get Smart Balance to expand in New Jersey, rather than Colorado.

Using its recent acquisition of Denver-based Udi's Healthy Foods LLC as a launch pad for restructuring, Smart Balance said it will split its business into two operating arms — Smart Balance, comprised of its namesake spreads, butter, grocery products and milk; and Natural Brands, consisting of its Earth Balance, Glutino and Udi's offerings.

According to the corporation's website, Hughes and current board member James E. Lewis founded the company as Boulder Specialty Brands in Colorado in 2005, then moved it to New Jersey in 2007 after they acquired GFA Food Brands — which previously owned the Smart Balance and Earth Balance brands — and changed the corporate name to Smart Balance Inc.

In light of that history, Hughes said in a statement the corporate office's return to Colorado and name change to Boulder Brands "completes our evolution."

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