U.S. private equity firm AEA Investors has partnered with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in the recapitalization of Traeger Pellet Grills LLC, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based designer, maker and marketer of wood-pellet grilling and outdoor cooking products. U.S. private equity firm Trilantic North America, which initially invested in Traeger Grills in 2013, and CEO Jeremy Andrus will re-invest in the deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed. As a result of the recapitalization, AEA will become the company’s new majority shareholder. Traeger Grills was established in 1990.
Trilantic North America to Recapitalize Traeger with New Majority Shareholder
August 21, 2017
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Trilantic North America, a leading private equity firm, today announced the recapitalization of Traeger Grills (“Traeger”) with a new majority control shareholder, AEA Investors (“AEA”). AEA will complete the investment in partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Additionally, Trilantic North America and CEO Jeremy Andrus will re-invest alongside AEA, which will become Traeger’s largest shareholder at the close of the transaction.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Traeger pioneered the wood pellet grilling category 30 years ago and has continued to drive innovation as the market leader. The company is disrupting the outdoor cooking industry by offering a superior solution that creates better flavor and is easier to use than conventional gas and charcoal grills. In addition to a full line of grills, Traeger also offers a range of 100% hardwood fuel, branded accessories and consumables through its direct sales channels and retail partners.
Under Jeremy Andrus’ leadership, Traeger has grown rapidly with sales tripling from the time of Trilantic North America’s initial investment. The company has invested for growth, broadening its product line while enhancing performance, features and quality, expanding its distribution network with new and existing sales channel partners and implementing systems and processes to optimize its supply chain. Building upon its roots and unique story as the original wood-fired grill, Traeger has set a new standard for lifestyle brands in the industry. As an omnichannel platform, Traeger has invested significantly to provide its customers with a best-in-class cooking experience, including access to a rich content library across a variety of social media channels, more than 3,000 recipes and videos available on TraegerGrills.com and live events like Traeger Shop Class.
“Jeremy has done a tremendous job driving the company’s growth, building out a strong team and creating a culture that reflects the passion of its consumers,” said Jamie Manges, Partner at Trilantic North America. “Our partnership with Jeremy exemplifies our strategy of collaborating with exceptional owner-operators and entrepreneurs. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Jeremy and the Traeger team as the company enters its next chapter of development.”
“Trilantic North America has been a great partner to Traeger by investing in key growth initiatives and supporting the company as it has continued to scale, and we are excited to have them remain as a partner as we continue on our rapid growth. Furthermore, we welcome our new partners, AEA and Ontario Teachers’, who have excellent reputations and track records of supporting consumer growth businesses. And of course I want to thank my team who has shown an incredible commitment to building this special brand. We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the future of Traeger,” said Andrus.
About Trilantic North America
Trilantic Capital Management L.P. (“Trilantic North America”) is a private equity firm focused on control and significant minority investments in North America. Trilantic North America’s primary investment focus is in the business services, consumer and energy sectors. Trilantic North America currently manages four private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of $6.0 billion. For more information, visit www.trilantic.com.
About Traeger Grills
Traeger Grills, headquartered in Salt Lake City, has been revolutionizing BBQ grilling and outdoor cooking for 30 years with one simple, all-encompassing cooking solution. Traeger pellet grills use 100% all natural hardwood fuel to infuse food with healthy and flavorful smoke, making food taste delicious and memorable. As the inventor of the original and world’s top selling wood-fired grill, Traeger utilizes wood-fired convection power to provide 6-in-1 versatility; grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ meals to perfection every time. Visit www.traegergrills.com for more information and to purchase Traeger grills and accessories.
About AEA Investors
AEA Investors LP was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. AEA’s active individual investors (the “Participants”) include an extraordinary network of more than 75 of the world’s leading industrial families, business executives and former government leaders. Today, AEA’s approximately 60 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, London, Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have approximately $10.0 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies and mezzanine and senior debt investments. AEA Private Equity invests across four sectors: value added industrial products, specialty chemicals, consumer/retail and services. For additional information, please visit aeainvestors.com.
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with C$175.6 billion in net assets at December 31, 2016. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an average annualized rate of return of 10.1% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 318,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit http://otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
Prosek Partners (for Trilantic North America)
Mark LaVoie, 212-279-3115 ext. 233
Method Communications (for Traeger Grills)
Clay Blackham, 801-461-9755
Photo courtesy of Traeger Pellet Grills LLC