VMG sells nut butter maker Justin’s to Hormel Foods

Private equity firm VMG Partners completed the sale of nut butter maker Justin’s LLC to Hormel Foods. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2016 –  VMG Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in investing in and building branded consumer product companies in the lower middle market, today announced that it has completed the sale of Justin’s LLC, maker of naturally delicious, high-quality nut butters, nut butter snacks, and organic peanut butter cups, to Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL).

Wayne Wu, Managing Director at VMG, said, “We enjoyed partnering with an iconic entrepreneur in Justin Gold, his amazing Justin’s brand, and its talented management team led by Peter Burns.   Justin’s pioneered nut butter based snacking driven by a rabid consumer base for its products, in part through inspiration from its roots in Boulder, Colorado.  We are grateful to the Boulder ecosystem for welcoming VMG with open arms into its community through our partnership with Justin’s, and we look forward to our continued involvement there in the years to come.”

Peter Burns, President and CEO of Justin’s, commented on the collaborative and productive relationship with the VMG team, stating, “Working with VMG was a unique partnership because they completely understood our business and provided extremely helpful guidance, financing, and resources.  Importantly, they also let us operate with the autonomy needed to rapidly grow our business while maintaining our entrepreneurial culture.”

Justin Gold, Founder of Justin’s, said, “I was attracted to VMG because they are motivated by doing what is right for our people and the brand and they have a track record of doing what they say.   It’s always good business when you focus on people and together we did everything we said we would do to build the company.  They are great human beings and I will always be a part of their extended family.”

About Justin’s

Justin’s makes naturally delicious, high-quality nut butters, nut butter snacks and organic peanut butter cups that deliver great taste, unique texture and convenient nutrition. Established in 2004 in the home kitchen of health enthusiast Justin Gold, Justin’s supports an on-the-go lifestyle and was the first nut butter brand to market nut butters in single-serve squeeze packs. Justin’s peanut butter cups are USDA-certified organic and are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. The nut butters are finely crafted with Justin’s one-of-a-kind grinding process to create an exceptional texture and flavor experience. All seven varieties offer a fiber-rich source of protein perfect for snacking anytime of the day. Justin’s Snack Packs are perfect for dipping, scooping and devouring and are available in three delicious nut butter and pretzel combinations. For more information, please visit Justin’s at www.justins.com, http://www.facebook.com/JustinsNutButter” www.facebook.com/JustinsNutButter and www.twitter.com/Justins.

About VMG Partners

VMG Partners is focused solely on partnering with entrepreneurs and managers to support the growth and strategic development of branded consumer products companies in the lower middle market.  Since its inception in 2005, VMG has provided financial resources and strategic guidance to drive growth and value creation in more than 20 companies. VMG’s defined set of target categories includes food, beverage, wellness, pet products, personal care, and household products brands.  Representative past and present partner companies include babyganics®, Health Warrior, Justin’s, KIND Healthy Snacks, Natural Balance, Nature’s Bakery, Pretzel Crisps®, Perfect Bar, Quest, Spindrift, and Vega. VMG Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  For more information about the fund please visit www.vmgpartners.com.