Bowery Farming Secures $150 Million Credit Facility Led by KKR to Accelerate Growth

KKR

January 12, 2022

–Total funding for leading U.S. vertical farming company reaches more than $647 million, including Series C equity round of $325 million in 2021, the largest-ever private fundraise for an indoor farming company

–Company maintains commercial category leadership in more than 800 stores with retail partners that represent half of U.S. grocery market; doubled revenue in 2021

–Bowery to use latest financing to continue growth of its smart indoor farm network across U.S., including expansion beyond East Coast with new farms in Georgia and Texas

NEW YORKJan. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bowery Farming (“Bowery” or “the Company”), the largest vertical farming company in the United States, today announced it has secured a $150 million credit facility led by private credit accounts managed by KKR, a leading global investment firm.

This independent, third-party funding will accelerate the expansion of Bowery’s network of smart indoor farms beyond the East Coast and brings its total debt and equity capital raised to more than $647 million — representing the strongest institutional backing in the Controlled Environmental Agriculture industry. KKR’s credit investment follows Bowery’s $325 million Series C funding in 2021 led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC.

The Company also announced today that it is building two new state-of-the-art farms serving the Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas metro areas. The farms will create more than 200 year-round green jobs across both markets and provide locally grown produce to a population of 20 million and 16 million within a 200-mile radius of Locust Grove, Georgia and Arlington, Texas, respectively. Both farms are expected to open in the first quarter of 2023.

The two new farms, leveraging billions of data points collected from previous farms, will feature industry-leading tech innovations resulting in efficiency improvements to all elements of the grow environment, from LED lighting to water recapture to climate control, ultimately improving quality and yield. These farms represent a recommitment to Bowery’s sustainability goals; the company plans to use power from 100% renewable sources.

“We’re thrilled to announce our expansion beyond the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions,” said Irving Fain, CEO and Founder of Bowery Farming. “KKR’s support is a testament to the proven success of our business model and a strong vote of confidence in our technology leadership and ability to address critical challenges in the current agricultural system. There is enormous economic opportunity that comes with supporting our mission to democratize access to local, pesticide-free Protected Produce, and now we are ready to continue our growth more rapidly.”

The new financing will also provide resources to accelerate advancements in farm design and the BoweryOS, giving more communities access to a reliable supply of locally-grown produce, year-round. Bowery’s proprietary farm design and technology have been a key priority since the Company was founded and are at the heart of its efficient and scalable business model. The BoweryOS, the central nervous system of the business, integrates software, hardware, sensors, computer vision systems, AI, and robotics to orchestrate and automate the entirety of operations. Each new farm comes online in record speed, collectively benefitting from the power of the network and its billions of data points.   

“We are excited to support Bowery’s pioneering efforts in vertical farming, which are directly contributing to the resiliency of our food supply,” said Michelle Hour, Director at KKR. “We believe that Bowery has the right commercial model, technology and team to capitalize on the rapidly growing consumer demand for sustainably-sourced food, and we look forward to helping the Company continue to innovate and scale to benefit communities across the United States.”

Bowery has continued to grow at a significant pace in 2021 and achieved a number of milestones; highlights include:

  • More than doubling revenue
  • Opening Farm X,  a state-of-the-art innovation hub for plant science in Kearny New Jersey, expanding R&D capacity by nearly 300%
  • Transforming an industrial site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania into a technologically advanced smart farm
  • Breaking ground on two additional large-scale commercial farms in Locust Grove, Georgia (located in Henry County near Atlanta, home to rapid population and job growth) and Arlington, Texas (located in the center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a rapidly growing technology and manufacturing hub)
  • Expanding our reach to more than 800 stores through a partnership with Wakefern, the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative, including brands such as Gourmet Garage, Shoprite, Fairway, The Fresh Grocer, and Dearborn Market

# # #

About Bowery

Founded in 2015, Bowery Farming is on a mission to democratize access to high-quality, local, safe, and sustainable produce. Bowery builds smart indoor farms near cities, growing fresher, pesticide-free Protected Produce with bold flavor in precisely controlled environments, 365 days a year. At the heart of the farm is the proprietary BoweryOS, which integrates software, hardware, sensors, AI, computer vision systems, machine learning models, and robotics to orchestrate and automate the entirety of its operations. As a result, each farm creates far less waste and uses a fraction of the water and land compared to traditional agriculture.

Based in New York City, Bowery is the largest vertical farming company in the United States, serving major e-commerce platforms and more than 800 grocery stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including Albertsons Companies (Safeway and Acme), Amazon Fresh, Giant Food, Walmart, Wakefern, Weis, Whole Food Markets, and specialty grocers, with produce that’s harvested year-round at peak freshness, delivered within days of harvest.

Bowery has raised more than $497 million in equity funding from leading investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Temasek, GV (formerly Google Ventures), General Catalyst, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, and individuals including Jeff Wilke, as well as some of the foremost thought leaders in food, including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, and David Barber of Blue Hill.

Media Contact

Rachel Alkon
Ralkon@boweryfarming.com

Categories: News

Tags:

EQT Private Equity exits CFB Group, a multi-brand food and beverage platform operator

eqt

EQT Private Equity completes the sale of its stake in CFB Group, a Chinese multi-brand food and beverage platform operator, to Fountainvest Partners

Under EQT Private Equity’s tenure, CFB Group has grown from a two-brand master franchisee to a leading multi-brand platform operator with a diverse portfolio of brands, including Dairy Queen, Papa John’s, Brut Eatery, XiaoMian and San Dao Ru Chuan

CFB Group has doubled its number of stores from around 500 to more than 1,100, and the company is today the world’s largest franchisee of Dairy Queen and one of the largest franchisees of Papa John’s outside the United States

EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Mid Market fund (“EQT Private Equity”) has completed the sale of its stake in CFB Group (the “Company”) to Fountainvest Partners. The transaction was closed on 30 December 2021.

Headquartered in Shanghai China, CFB Group is a leading multi-brand food and beverage platform operator in China with over 1,100 stores. The Company was founded in 2003 and in 2013 EQT Private Equity acquired a majority stake in the franchise operator.

During EQT Private Equity’s ownership, CFB Group has evolved from a two-brand master franchisee in China to a multi-brand food and beverage platform operator with a diverse portfolio consisting of both proprietary and franchised brands, including Dairy Queen, Papa John’s, Brut Eatery, XiaoMian and San Dao Ru Chuan. On top of its original direct-own model, the Company successfully diversified its strategy by expanding its sub-franchise model and doubling its number of stores from around 500 to more than 1,100. Today, CFB Group is the world’s largest franchisee of Dairy Queen and one of the largest franchisees of Papa John’s outside the United States.

Under EQT’s value creation strategy, the Company completely digitalized its front-to-back-end operations which significantly improved its operational efficiency. Moreover, through digital marketing and by utilizing Chinese social media platforms, CFB Group successfully enhanced its brand value and drove more traffic to both its offline stores and its online platforms.

Jerry He, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team and Head of China, said, “We are pleased to have found a good partner for CFB Group for what we believe will be an exciting next phase of its journey. The Company has transformed significantly and become a leading food and beverage platform operator in China during EQT’s ownership. We are proud of the accomplishments achieved by an outstanding management team led by Alan Hsu, especially the swift actions in response to COVID-19 and the impressive performance during this difficult period. We thank Alan and the entire management team, all the employees and the board for their vision, dedication and contribution. We are confident that CFB Group will continue to be successful under its new ownership.”

Alan Hsu, CEO of CFB Group, said “We would like to thank EQT and the entire team for their trust, support and guidance. EQT has been a great partner and instrumental in CFB Group’s journey over the last few years, building the business together with the management team encompassing business model transformation, brand portfolio expansion, digitalization and sustainability development. These efforts positioned CFB Group well and enabled us to join forces with our new partner for the Company’s next phase of growth and transformation. Personally, I also cherish the friendships that we have built over these years.”

Contact
Asian media inquiries: Mavis Ma, Communications Manager, +852 9280 9663
International media inquiries: EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 55 334

Categories: News

Tags:

LINXIS Group announces the acquisition of Shaffer

IK Partners

January 5, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (NANTES, France) – LINXIS Group, global leader in ingredient automation, pre-dough systems, mixing and depositing technologies for the food and health industries, together with its financial sponsor IK Partners, are pleased to announce the acquisition of Shaffer, industrial mixers and process equipment, from Bundy Baking Solutions. The Bundy family will remain as minority owners in the business.

Shaffer’s market leading horizontal mixer strengthens the Mixing Technologies division of LINXIS which includes Diosna and VMI, two world leaders in vertical and continuous mixing technology. Shaffer industrial mixers are engineered to be the most sanitary, durable and innovative horizontal mixers in the industry.

The addition of Shaffer enables Linxis Group to build on our family of market leading brands. Shaffer is well known throughout the industry for providing highly reliable and innovative equipment with a focus on customer service and support. We look forward to continuing that legacy by supporting the team at Shaffer in product development and international expansion. We welcome the Shaffer team to our group.” LINXIS Group CEO and President, Tim Cook

“We are very excited for Shaffer and the new opportunities that they will discover as part of Linxis Group. We have had the privilege of working with the Shaffer team for the last 14 years and believe this was the next step in realizing the full market potential of Shaffer. We know that the Linxis Group team, together with the existing Shaffer team, will continue to move Shaffer forward to be the world leader in the horizontal mixer category.“ – Bundy Baking Solutions CEO, Gilbert Bundy

“Joining the Linxis Group provides Shaffer with additional resources for research and development and enables us to further integrate and advance ingredient and mixing systems. The ultimate result of this new venture is that now, more than ever, we are able to provide our customers the best mixing solutions and services possible.“ – Shaffer Vice President, Kirk Lang

LINXIS GROUP CONTACTS
Lysiane Laot | Claire Auffredou
contact@linxisgroup.com

SHAFFER CONTACTS
Kirk Lang
klang@shaffermixers.com

IK PARTNERS CONTACTS
Vidya Verlkumar
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

BUNDY BAKING SOLUTIONS CONTACTS
Wendi Ebbing
webbing@bundybakingsolutions.com

About LINXIS Group

LINXIS Group gathers leaders in specialized equipment for the food and health industries – Bakon, Diosna, Shick Esteve, Unifiller and VMI are experts in ingredient automation, pre-dough systems, mixing and depositing technologies. Their common mission is to grow their position as global leaders in process equipment design and supply, for the customers they serve all around the world. www.linxisgroup.com

Read More

About Shaffer

Shaffer is leading the innovation of mixers and processing equipment, providing customized solutions and total support to customers so they can mix products precisely and efficiently. www.shaffermixers.com

About Bundy Baking Solutions

Bundy Baking Solutions is the most trusted supplier of essential equipment, bakeware, coatings and services to bakers around the world, empowering your bakery to focus on what matters the most – feeding the world. www.bundybakingsolutions.com

Read More

About IK Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is a European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €14 billion of capital and invested in 160 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit www.ikpartners.com

Read More

Categories: News

Tags:

KKR Completes Acquisition of Bettcher Industries and Names Dan Daniel Chairman

KKR

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Bettcher Industries (“Bettcher” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer and supplier of food processing equipment and associated aftermarket parts and consumables, and KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced the completion of KKR’s acquisition of Bettcher from MPE Partners.

Effective upon the transaction close, Dan Daniel, a KKR Executive Advisor, will assume the role of Chairman of Bettcher. Mr. Daniel will support Tim Swanson, CEO of Bettcher, in setting the strategic direction of the company and in overseeing Bettcher’s operating performance.

“Bettcher is a great business and an iconic brand, and I am honored to support the Company in its growth ambitions from here,” said Mr. Daniel. “Through continued growth and accretive acquisitions, we can together build Bettcher into a scaled leader in food processing automation equipment and I look forward to working alongside the Bettcher management team and KKR to do exactly that,” said Mr. Daniel.

Mr. Daniel has three decades of experience leading U.S. industrial companies, most recently serving as an Executive Vice President at Danaher from 2008 through March 2020. During his 14 years as an Executive Officer at Danaher, Mr. Daniel directly managed Danaher’s Industrial Technologies and Life Sciences portfolios until 2017, and, from 2017 until his retirement in March 2020, directly managed the company’s Diagnostics and Dental segments.

“I am excited to be partnering with KKR and Dan as they share our vision at Bettcher of driving continued innovation while providing outstanding support to our customers. Together, we will be able to build upon Bettcher’s legacy to partner with our customers in new and expanded ways,” said Mr. Swanson.

KKR will also be supporting Bettcher in implementing KKR’s broad-based employee engagement model at the Company. Since 2011, KKR’s Industrials team has focused on employee engagement as a key driver in building stronger businesses. The strategy’s cornerstone has been to allow all employees to take part in the benefits of ownership by granting them the opportunity to participate in the equity return alongside KKR. Beyond sharing ownership, KKR also supports employee engagement by investing in training across multiple functional areas and by partnering with the workforce to give back to the community.

About Bettcher Industries

Headquartered in Birmingham, Ohio, Bettcher is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative equipment in the food processing and medical device industries. The Bettcher portfolio includes the following: Bettcher, a designer and manufacturer of handheld trimmers, tools, and cutting consumables for all protein applications; Cantrell-Gainco, a manufacturer of processing equipment and yield enhancement and yield tracking systems for various protein operations; ICB Greenline, an aftermarket replacement parts and services company focused on poultry processing; and, Exsurco Medical, a leading-edge medical device company that provides innovative products and services to transform surgical grafting, debridement, and recovery outcomes for patients with burn and trauma wounds.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

For Bettcher Industries:
Bryan Hesse
(440) 204-3291
BryanHesse@bettcher.com

For KKR:
Cara Major or Julia Kosygina
(212) 750-8300
media@kkr.com

Source: KKR

Categories: News People

Tags:

ARBOR INVESTMENTS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF LARGEST NORTH AMERICAN FREEZE-DRYER, OREGON FREEZE DRY

Arbor Investments (“Arbor”), a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on investing in food, beverage and related industries, announced today the acquisition of Oregon Freeze Dry (“OFD” or the “Company”) from Endeavour Capital. The transaction marks the fifth platform investment for Arbor Fund V. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1963, OFD is North America’s largest and most technologically advanced freeze-dryer of food, probiotics, enzymes, proteins, specialty ingredients, and lyophilized pharmaceutical inputs. With nearly six decades of institutional knowledge and proprietary lyophilization expertise, OFD manufactures innovative and value-added freeze-dried products for a diversified and high-growth mix of end-markets. This expertise is paired with OFD’s unmatched production scale and capabilities, including 36 freeze-drying chambers spread across four best-in-class bicoastal facilities, with nearly 550 employees. A new state-of-the-art West Coast facility is also under construction (scheduled to open mid-2022) which will further enhance the Company’s lyophilized pharmaceutical capabilities.

With a storied history that includes working with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide meals to troops and supporting NASA space missions (including products taken on every Apollo mission to the Moon), Oregon Freeze Dry is a pioneer in freeze-drying food applications that have superior flavor, long shelf-life and convenient preparation. From producing meals for the U.S. military to making products for on-the-go consumers and emergency preparedness under its own retail brand, MOUNTAIN HOUSE®, OFD has perfected the art and science of manufacturing superior tasting products that are nutrient-preserving while being clean-label and preservative-free. The Company’s Mountain House® brand, with omnichannel distribution across mass, club, eCommerce and specialty retail, is the unrivaled #1 freeze-dried brand in the adventure and outdoor meal category.

Leveraging the Company’s institutional “know-how” in technical, high-value added freeze-drying, OFD utilizes its proprietary LyoLock™ process to also produce customized critical inputs for multinational customers in the nutritional supplements, ingredients and pharmaceutical industries. OFD brings an innovative approach to designing and commercializing successful product concepts and is a key contract manufacturing partner to an enviable list of sophisticated customers.

Oregon Freeze Dry CEO Joe Folds and other senior leadership will continue to lead OFD from their headquarters in Albany, Oregon.

“For decades, Oregon Freeze Dry has set the standard of excellence in meals for consumers and the U.S. military, as well as serving as a trusted partner for our contract manufacturing customers,” said Folds. “Our ambition has always been to grow – across both new products and new capabilities – and we are excited to be partnering with Arbor, who completely shares our appetite and vision for continued ambitious growth.”

“Oregon Freeze Dry is the clear market leader for a broad range of high value-added products in thriving categories,” stated Arbor Partner Chris Tuffin. “The Company’s unmatched scale, Mountain House’s brand equity, and long-term relationships with blue-chip customers make this a compelling platform investment for Arbor.”

“The Oregon Freeze Dry team has a distinguished track record of successful new product development and is widely respected by customers and other freeze-dryers as the best in the business,” added Arbor Senior Operating Partner Tim Fallon. “With numerous opportunities to continue driving growth through innovation, new capabilities and category extensions, we look forward to partnering with Joe and the OFD leadership team to further accelerate growth.”

Winston & Strawn LLP served as Arbor’s legal counsel in connection with the transaction. Cascadia Capital served as Exclusive Financial Advisor and Stoel Rives LLP served as legal counsel to OFD.

Categories: News

Tags:

Mathem to merge with Axfood’s Mat.se and enter into long-term supply agreement with Dagab

Kinnevik

Kinnevik AB (publ) (“Kinnevik”) today announced that Mathem has agreed to merge with Mat.se, Axfood’s online grocer business, and to enter into a long-term strategic supply agreement with Axfood’s purchasing and logistics company Dagab. Kinnevik will own 31 percent of Mathem after the transaction and remains the company’s largest owner.

The combination of Mathem with Mat.se, together with the partnership with Axfood, will create synergies, increase scale, and enable the combined company to further improve its customer proposition in the direct-to-home online grocery market. Axfood will own approximately 17 percent of Mathem and as part of the partnership Axfood’s purchasing and logistics company, Dagab, will enter into a seven-year delivery and collaboration agreement with Mathem, covering purchasing, product range and logistics. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Georgi Ganev, CEO of Kinnevik commented: “We welcome Axfood as a partner and owner in Mathem. Axfood’s leading market position and passion for good and sustainable food will help strengthen Mathem’s customer offering, and we look forward to support the company on their continued growth journey together with our new partner.”

Klas Balkow, CEO of Axfood commented: “Together with Mathem we now create a stronger and better pure online offering for Mathem’s and Mat.se’s customers. The long-term supply agreement between Dagab and Mathem strengthens that offering even further. We look forward to further develop the merged Mathem and Mat.se company together with Kinnevik and the other owners.”

In the all-stock merger, Mat.se and Mathem are valued in proportion to their respective revenues during the last twelve months as at 30 September 2021.

Categories: News

Tags:

KKR joins InVivo in its acquisition of global malt producer Malteries Soufflet

KKR

KKR is co-investing with Bpifrance and Crédit Agricole Group for a total consideration of €440m

Paris, 9 December, 2021 – KKR, a leading global investment firm, announces today that KKR has acquired a significant minority stake in Malteries Soufflet, a leading producer in the malt industry. KKR, Bpifrance and Crédit Agricole Group will collectively invest €440m in the malt business, which is a division of Soufflet Group. Soufflet Group has recently been acquired by InVivo, a leading French agricultural and agri-food business, with InVivo welcoming the three investment partners as they look to accelerate the growth of Malteries Soufflet and strengthen its globally leading position.

Malteries Soufflet is one of the leading global malt producers, employing 1,200 people, spread over four continents, with 28 production plants and an annual production of 2.4m tons. Malteries Soufflet has significant capacity to supply malting-quality barley through its international footprint, and is well positioned to capture growing demand in the underlying market from both international brewers, as well as the growing craft beers market.

Thierry Blandinières, CEO of InVivo Group, commented: “We were looking for a dynamic strategic partner capable of supporting our global growth plans with the acquisition of Soufflet while simultaneously assessing the international growth potential of our malt division. KKR, along with Bpifrance and Crédit Agricole Group, worked with us to find the right solution to help strengthen our malt division for years to come, in France and internationally.”

Jérôme Nommé, Partner and Head of France at KKR, said: “Malteries Soufflet is a world class business with the potential to significantly strengthen its position under the expert leadership of Thierry Blandinières and his team at InVivo. We are delighted to work with InVivo alongside other highly respected investors, and look forward to supporting InVivo in growing and developing the malt division to help it meet its exciting growth ambitions.”

Blaine MacDougald, Partner and Co-Head of KKR’s Strategic Investments Group, added: “Our ability to offer capital solutions to companies which are complementary to our traditional private equity business gives us additional ways to partner with management, while still enabling them to benefit from the full suite of KKR resources. This structured equity investment demonstrates the flexibility of the KKR platform to work closely with companies on supporting their future growth needs.”

KKR’s diversified and multi-asset investment platform provides KKR with the flexibility to support ambitious companies with a suite of comprehensive, bespoke capital solutions, further enhanced by its global experience and operational capabilities. In France, this model along with KKR’s strategic partnership approach, strong local presence and large global platform, enables companies to grow and globalize. KKR is a long-term investor in France, where the firm has invested over €10 billion since 2002, forming strategic partnerships with a number of leading French businesses including Devoteam, Mediawan, OVHcloud, among others. KKR invests in Malteries Soufflet from its managed funds.

 

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About InVivo

InVivo Group, which finalized the acquisition of Soufflet Group in December 2021, is one of Europe’s leading agricultural groups with revenues of nearly €10 billion, with more than half of which generated in France, and a workforce of more than 13,000 employees, including more than 10,000 in France. With operations in 35 countries, it has more than 90 industrial sites, including 63 in France.

A cornerstone of food sovereignty, InVivo operates across the entire value chain, from farm to fork, and is a leader in each of its strategic businesses: Agriculture; Malting (“Malteries Soufflet”); Milling, ingredients, bakery and pastry; Garden center and food retail; International grain trade; Wine. A global cross-functional centre for innovative and digital solutions completes the structure, in order to accelerate the transformation of InVivo’s businesses.

For more information: invivo-group.com / Twitter @InVivoGroup

 

Media Contacts

KKR France:

Finsbury Glover Hering

Nathalie Falco

Telephone: +33 6 30 64 90 15

Email: nathalie.falco@fgh.com

 

Categories: News

Tags:

ARBOR INVESTMENTS ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN ULTRA-PREMIUM RAW PET FOOD MANUFACTURER, CARNIVORE MEAT COMPANY

Arbor Investment

Arbor Investments (“Arbor”), a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on investing in food, beverage and related industries announced today their investment in, and partnership with ultra-premium freeze-dried and frozen raw pet food manufacturer Carnivore Meat Company (“Carnivore” or the “Company”). The transaction marks the fourth platform investment for Arbor Fund V. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in Green Bay, Wisconsin by entrepreneur and CEO Lanny Viegut in 2012, Carnivore is among the largest pure-play freeze-dried raw pet food producers in North America, manufacturing unique freeze-dried and frozen raw pet food, snacks and treats. A pioneer in raw pet food, Carnivore’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and proprietary freeze-drying process are strongly positioned to meet rapidly growing demand, fueled by discerning pet parents worldwide who are seeking nutritious and delicious alternatives to traditional pet foods.

Carnivore’s all-meat freeze-dried products are safe, convenient, and shelf-stable, making them ideal for traveling, training, snacking and everyday feeding. These highly differentiated products are marketed under the Company’s family of brands including flagship brand Vital Essentials®, Vital Cat®, VE RAW BAR™ and the most recently launched Nature’s Advantage® line. The Company’s branded products are distributed to over 7,200 retailers in the U.S. and Canada, online including via Chewy and Amazon, and in 14 international markets. In addition, Carnivore is a trusted partner to a number of co-manufacturing and private label customers.

“Carnivore has been blessed with incredible growth and we see acceleration at an even faster rate in the future,” said Viegut. “When we saw this opportunity to partner with a team who completely match us in culture, values and beliefs…and who share the same commitment to manufacturing premium quality food products, we just had to say, “YES”! This partnership will help us stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for our 100% raw protein products. Carnivore and Arbor are a perfect fit and the timing couldn’t be better. With our combined experience and expertise, along with Arbor’s resources, we will continue scaling quickly to stay ahead of the incredible demand curve for our ultra-premium quality raw pet foods and treats.”

Under Viegut’s leadership, Carnivore was recently named to Inc. 5000’s list of America’s fastest growing private companies for a third consecutive year. Viegut and senior leadership of the Company will continue in their operating roles leading the business.

“The Carnivore team have developed distinctive products with a fanatical customer base,” stated Arbor Partner Chris Tuffin. “The freeze-dry sector is seeing meteoric growth as pet parents learn about the unrivaled benefits of a raw diet. We look forward to bringing our resources and capital to help increase capacity and support the step-change acceleration in the Company’s growth.”

“Lanny and his team have built something truly incredible, not only in terms of product, but in terms of a unique culture,” said Arbor President Carl Allegretti. “The Carnivore team’s customer-centric approach and ‘find ways to say yes’ attitude across the organization is a clear driver of their tremendous success, and a seamless fit with Arbor’s hands-on approach. We couldn’t be more excited about our new partnership.”

Winston & Strawn LLP served as Arbor’s legal counsel in connection with the transaction. Houlihan Lokey served as Exclusive Financial Advisor and Godfrey & Kahn served as legal counsel to Carnivore.

Categories: News

Tags:

CVC Fund VIII completes acquisition of Stock Spirits

CVC Capital Partners

Acquisition follows unanimous recommendation of Stock Spirits’ board of directors and approval by shareholders

CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) is pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of Stock Spirits Group PLC (“Stock Spirits”) by CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII, following the unanimous recommendation of Stock Spirits’ Board of Directors and the approval by the majority of Stock Spirits’ shareholders.

Stock Spirits holds several market-leading positions in the Central and Eastern European alcoholic beverages sector and has a portfolio of products rooted in local and regional heritage. This includes 70 brands across a range of spirits including vodka, vodka-based flavoured liqueurs, rum, brandy, bitters and limoncello. The company currently enjoys leading positions in the Polish and Czech markets.

CVC sees an opportunity to accelerate Stock Spirits’ growth, pursuing opportunities within its existing geographies alongside expansion into complementary new geographies in Central and Western Europe.

CVC funds are long-standing investors in the region where CVC has a dedicated team with a strong track record of advising on investments into high quality businesses such as Zabka, the Polish market leader in modern convenience retail and PKP Energetyka, the sole distributor of traction electricity to all railway customers in Poland.

István Szőke, a Managing Partner at CVC, commented: “We have followed Stock Spirits with interest for a decade, having originally been impressed by its compelling position across a number of key markets as well as its clear potential for growth. We are delighted to have now completed this transaction and look forward to working closely with management in executing on their strategy and significantly boosting the Company’s growth and development.”

Krzysztof Krawczyk, a Partner at CVC, added: “We are excited to start delivering on our plans for Stock Spirits. In addition to capitalising on our local expertise and track record of helping consumer facing companies across Stock Spirits’ core geographies, we will leverage our M&A capabilities to pursue new areas of growth.”

Mirek Stachowicz, Chief Executive Officer of Stock Spirits, commented: “We are delighted to partner with CVC through this next stage of our journey. CVC’s knowledge of the local marketplaces is second to none and, coupled with its demonstrable track record of successful M&A in the region, will position Stock Spirits for long-term growth.”

Categories: News

Tags:

Universal Robina Corporation announces acquisition of Munchy’s

CVC Capital Partners

Universal Robina Corporation (URC), one of the largest branded food and beverage companies in the Philippines with a strong presence in the ASEAN region, reached an agreement with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners (CVC) to acquire a 100% stake in Munchy Food Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Munchy’s) and its wholly owned subsidiary Munchworld Marketing Sdn. Bhd. from CVC Asia IV for 1.925 billion Malaysian Ringgit on a “cash-free, debt free” basis.

Established in 1991, Munchy’s is Malaysia’s No.1 biscuit brand that has now flourished into a recognized and successful brand across the region. Munchy’s offers a wide variety of offerings across all key biscuit segments with well-loved brands include Munchy’s Cream Crackers, LEXUS Cream Sandwich, Oat Krunch, Muzic Wafer, and Choc-O cookies, are available in most retail outlets in Malaysia and more than 50 countries globally.

Irwin C. Lee, President and CEO of URC, said: “URC is delighted to announce the acquisition of Munchy’s which will add immediate value to our international product portfolio, and scale up our Malaysian market position to leadership in the Biscuits category. Munchy’s, with its strong brands, talented organization, and operational excellence, is a great strategic fit with URC. Together, we will be able to further expand the footprint of URC and Munchy’s brands and unlock growth synergies in Malaysia as well as across the ASEAN region.

Alvin Lim, Senior Managing Director of CVC, said: “This has been a highly successful partnership between CVC and the excellent leadership team at Munchy’s that has seen the company expand into new geographies and the launch of numerous innovative and delicious products. Universal Robina Corporation is the perfect new home for Munchy’s and we wish them the very best for the future.”

Rodney Wong, Munchy’s CEO, said: “We are excited to become part of URC. This move will allow Munchy’s to have access to research and development expertise in multiple categories, enhance market knowledge, route to market, and manufacturing capabilities in countries outside of Malaysia. This will translate to development of innovative forward-thinking offerings to our consumers and strengthen our presence in the ASEAN market. Both companies share a common purpose, values and ambition where we both put people first in everything we do, looking to delight everyone with good food choices and inspire happiness together. We would like to thank CVC for their expertise and support over the last three years and look forward for the next phase of profitable growth for Munchy’s.”

The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to close by December 2021 subject to fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

Categories: News

Tags: