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Metropoulos to Fund $135M @UtzSnacks Buyout of @Golden_Flake

Metropoulos to Fund $135M @UtzSnacks Buyout of @Golden_Flake

Utz’s recent $135 million acquisition of Golden Enterprises (NASDAQ: GLDC), the Alabama producer of snacks under the popular Golden Flake brand, is the largest initial private equity transaction for a U.S. snack company since 2013, when Metropoulos and Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) invested in Hostess Brands. The move comes after Gores Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ CM: GRSHU, GRSH, GRSHW), a special purpose acquisition or ‘blank check’ company sponsored by private equity firm The Gores Group LLC, agreed to acquire Hostess Brands from HB Holdings LLC, which is owned by Apollo and Metropoulos and Co., in a reverse merger deal valued at $2.3 billion, as reported by ExitHub in early July. Over the past five years, Utz has made several other key acquisitions, broadening its brand portfolio to include Good Health, Bachman, Zapp’s, “Dirty”, Snikiddy and Wachusett and expanding its distribution and geographic footprint. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Utz operates 11 facilities located in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida. The Rice family, which has owned and operated Utz for four generations, continues to be the controlling and majority shareholders. “Nearly a century ago, the Utz company was born in a small town kitchen by an entrepreneurial couple, Bill and Salie Utz, who created a fast-growing business making fresh potato chips for local markets with an intense focus on premier quality products,” said Dylan Lissette, president & CEO of Utz. “For the past 95+ years, Utz has not only defied the odds as a successful family-owned business, we have thrived, by continuously reinvesting in our company, expanding our offerings and reach through key acquisitions, and never deviating from our core values and our commitment to our people and our high quality products. “As we got to know the Metropoulos team and talked with many who have worked with them previously, it became clear they were not your typical investment firm,” he added. “In addition to being a true family-owned firm, their expertise in operations, brand expansion, innovation, growth and acquisition integration, combined with shared family values and a passion for heritage brands, made this opportunity very unique. We are excited to continue to lead this company forward, working closely with our new partners as we enter this new chapter of Utz expansion, reinvestment and growth.” “Under the family’s strong stewardship, Utz has quietly grown into a snack powerhouse, expanding its product portfolio and geographic reach, while remaining true to its core beliefs and storied history,” said Evan Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co. “Our family is excited to be a part of Utz’s future and feel grateful for the partnership with the Rice & Lissette family,” added Daren Metropoulos, principal at Metropoulos & Co. “We believe the strength and rich heritage of the Utz family and management team, combined with the expertise of the Metropoulos team, will further elevate this company’s leadership in the salty snack category,” said Anand Gowda, president and managing partner of Metropoulos & Co., who heads the firm’s private equity team with Cary Devore and Patrick Cook. Metropoulos & Co., founded in 1993 and headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, is well-known for its past investments in Pabst Blue Ribbon, Ghirardelli Chocolates, Bumble Bee Foods, Vlasic Pickles, Chef Boyardee and Perrier-Jouet/Mumm, among many others.]]>

CenterOak Partners Acquires @WetzelsPretzels from Levine Leichtman for About $100M

CenterOak Partners Acquires @WetzelsPretzels from Levine Leichtman for About $100M

Universal Robina Corp. (PSE: URC) agreed to acquire Australia’s second biggest salty snacks maker Consolidated Snacks Pty. Ltd. (CSPL), which operates as Snack Brands Australia, for AU$600 million (USD$458 million). Earlier in August, Austin, Texas-based Amplify Snack Brands Inc. (NYSE: BETR) agreed to acquire British premium snack food business Crisps Topco Ltd, operating as Tyrrells, from private equity firm Investcorp (BHSE: INVCORP) and Tyrrells’ management for £300 million. In July, Gores Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ CM: GRSHU, GRSH, GRSHW), a blank check company sponsored by private equity firm The Gores Group LLC, agreed to acquire Hostess Brands LLC, maker of Hostess Twinkies, Ding Dongs and CupCakes, from HB Holdings LLC, owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) and Metropoulos and Co., in a reverse merger deal valued at $2.3 billion, representing 10.4x the $220 million estimated 2016 adjusted EBITDA of Hostess Brands. Also in July, Pennsylvania-based snack food company Utz Quality Foods Inc. agreed to acquire Alabama-based Golden Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: GLDC), maker of the Golden Flake brand, for $135.5 million. In March, Clearlake Capital Group LP acquired New Jersey-based That’s How We Roll LLC, a marketer of branded snacks Mrs. Thinsters and Dippin’ Chips, which are distributed to over 10,000 locations within grocery, club and mass in North America. “From rolling the first Wetzel’s Pretzel in our kitchens more than 23 years ago, our vision of serving fresh, delicious pretzels in a fun atmosphere has remained the same,” said Bill Phelps, Wetzel’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have found a business partner in CenterOak Partners that believes in that vision, and understands our top priority is the profitability of our franchise partners.” “We are excited to partner with the company and its tenured and successful management team,” said Randall Fojtasek, managing partner of CenterOak. “The company has demonstrated consistent, stable growth in its more than two decades of operation and has developed an exceptional brand.” Wetzel’s Pretzels said its 2016 highlights include a year-to-date same store sales increase of 6.7% with system wide sales estimated at $165 million, and the opening of flagship locations in Manhattan’s Fulton Center and the Mall of America. CenterOak Partners invested in Wetzel’s Pretzels with capital from its $420 million CenterOak Equity Fund I LP. Golub Capital acted as administrative agent, sole bookrunner and sole lead arranger, and provided $66.5 million in financing to CenterOak Partners in connection with the transaction. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP provided legal counsel services to CenterOak Partners. North Point Advisors served as financial adviser to Wetzel’s Pretzels. Golub Capital’s middle market lending group provides financing for middle market, private equity-backed transactions with hold positions of up to $300 million and is an arranger of credit facilities up to $750 million. Golub Capital has over $18 billion of capital under management, with lending offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. CenterOak Partners LLC is a private equity firm with a focus on making control-oriented investments in middle market companies organized or operating in the U.S. The firm specializes in three key industry sectors: Industrial Growth, Consumer, and Business Services. CenterOak’s senior leaders and their predecessor funds have managed over $1.8 billion of equity capital commitments and have completed nearly 100 acquisitions representing over $3 billion in transaction value.]]>

Amplify Snack Brands $BTR to Acquire @Tyrrells From Investcorp for £300M

Amplify Snack Brands $BTR to Acquire @Tyrrells From Investcorp for £300M

Pennsylvania-based snack food company Utz Quality Foods Inc. agreed to acquire Alabama-based Golden Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: GLDC), maker of the Golden Flake brand, for $135.5 million. Earlier in July, Gores Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ CM: GRSHU, GRSH, GRSHW), a blank check company sponsored by private equity firm Gores Group LLC, agreed to acquire Hostess Brands LLC from private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) and Metropoulos and Co. in a $2.3 billion deal. In June, European private equity firm Bridgeport acquired Turkish dried fruit and nuts producer Peyman from its founders and Turkey’s Esas Holding in a $110 million deal. In March, private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group LP acquired New Jersey-based That’s How We Roll LLC, a marketer of branded snacks in North America. Investcorp’s sale of Tyrrells is its ninth exit in Europe in the last twelve months, following the sale of GL Education to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners; the sale of CSIdentity to Experian; the flotation of Asiakastieto on Nasdaq Helsinki; the sale of Denmark’s Icopal to GAF; the sale of N&W to Lone Star Funds; the ultimate full sale of Skrill Group to Optimal Payments (now renamed Paysafe Group plc); the flotation of Sophos Group plc on the London Stock Exchange and the complete exit of a minority stake in spare part distributer, Autodistribution. Investcorp is engaged in corporate buyouts, hedge funds and real estate, and has offices in New York, London, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Investcorp is one of the most active global mid-market private equity firms, with over 30 years of experience of successfully investing in North America and Europe and more recently in the MENA region. The firm combines the growth dynamics of Gulf capital and the alternative investment industry with international management discipline. Investcorp’s past and present private equity portfolio includes more than 150 investments totaling over $36 billion in transaction value. Notable previous investments included Tiffany & Co., Gucci, and Leyca. Investcorp was founded in 1982 by its chairman Nemir Kirdar. The firm’s executive chairman is Mohammed Bin Mahfoodh Al Ardhi.]]>