THL, Goldman to Buy CTI Foods

Thomas H. Lee Partners and an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. have agreed to buy CTI Foods. Littlejohn & Co. is the seller. Financial terms weren’t announced. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs provided commitments for the debt financing. CTI, which has corporate offices in Fort Worth, Texas and Wilder, Idaho, provides custom food solutions to major chain restaurants in North America. Goldman provided financial advice to THL and Goldman.

PRESS RELEASE

Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”), a leading private equity firm, and an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co. (“Goldman Sachs”), today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which THL and Goldman Sachs will acquire CTI Foods, (“CTI”) from Littlejohn & Co., LLC.
With corporate offices in Fort Worth, Texas and Wilder, Idaho, CTI is a leading independent provider of custom food solutions to major chain restaurants in North America. Products that the Company supplies include value-added proteins, soups and dressings. With a focus on flavor and menu innovation, CTI partners with its clients to create custom culinary products that provide its customers a competitive edge. CTI has well-established and long-standing relationships with major quick service and casual dining chains in the U.S. and has a strong track record of innovation. CTI Foods has a national footprint, with seven state-of-the-art food processing facilities located in Idaho, California, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“We at CTI Foods are excited to announce this partnership with THL and Goldman Sachs. In the past years, CTI has steadily expanded through organic growth, targeted and strategic acquisitions, and a commitment to R&D and innovation. The company has a compelling growth path and a well-defined offering of value-added food products. As we look to the next phase of our growth, we couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with THL and Goldman Sachs, investors who share our commitment to our customers, and bring exceptional financial and industry expertise that will help propel us to the next level,” said Robert (“Bobby”) Horowitz, Chief Executive Officer of CTI.
“Bobby and the team at CTI Foods have created an outstanding company with a well-deserved reputation for quality, innovation, and customer service. CTI has demonstrated a track record of robust growth and has consistently developed strong partnerships with its customers. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest in the Company and partner with its first class management team and employees,” said Jeff Swenson, Managing Director at THL.
“CTI is a leader in the custom food solutions industry and management has done an excellent job accelerating its growth trajectory,” said Nicole Agnew, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. “We are excited to bring additional support and resources to position the Company to continue its successful development.”
Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as Financial Advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted as Legal Advisor to THL and Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanley acted as Financial Advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher acted as Legal Advisor to Littlejohn and CTI. Affiliates of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs provided commitments for the debt financing for the transaction.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
About Thomas H. Lee Partners
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced private equity firms. The firm invests in growth-oriented global businesses, headquartered principally in North America, across three broad sectors: Consumer & Healthcare, Media & Information Services and Business & Financial Services. THL’s team of investment and operating professionals partner with portfolio company management teams to identify and implement business process improvements that accelerate sustainable revenue and profit growth. Since its founding in 1974, THL has raised approximately $20 billion of equity capital and invested in more than 100 businesses with an aggregate purchase price of more than $150 billion. THL strives to build great companies of lasting value and generate superior investment returns. For more information, please visit www.thl.com.
About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. For more information on Goldman Sachs, please visit www.gs.com.

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