U.S. private equity firm Riverside Co has acquired Kii Naturals Inc, a Vaughan, Ontario creator and maker of all-natural artisan crisps, cereals, grains and other products. No financial terms were released for the deal, which will see Kii combined with NuStef Baking Ltd, a Mississauga, Ontario maker of pizelle waffle cookies and artisan crackers under the Reko brand. Riverside, which invested in NuStef in January, said it will help drive growth at both companies through leveraging a Canadian and U.S. distribution network, existing broker-retailer relationships, cross-selling and developing new products and flavours, among other strategies.
Riverside Bakes Tasty Add-On into NuStef Baking
November 13, 2017
Artisan Crisp Brand Kii Naturals Joins NuStef
The Riverside Company has added Kii Naturals of Vaughn, Ontario to its NuStef Baking platform. Kii creates and manufactures all-natural artisan crackers while NuStef offers pizzelle waffle cookies and artisan crackers under the Reko brand.
Kii was founded in 2010 by former President & CEO Sujay Shah, and the company is recognized as one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies in Canada. It has built a loyal following thanks to its high quality, healthier organic and non-GMO offerings, as well as its innovative flavor combinations.
“Kii makes delicious crisps that meet the increasing demand for unique flavors and better-for-you snacks,” said Riverside Managing Partner Suzy Kriscunas. “This addition delivers a great brand and line of products to NuStef in an adjacent market that is poised for continued strong growth.”
Kii’s on-trend, clean label offerings are on the leading edge of a product category that customers are discovering and increasingly demanding, said Riverside Partner Meranee Phing.
“Kii is well positioned to outpace competitors due to industry trends towards healthier alternatives and snacking,” said Phing. “The company has been quickly adding product lines and customers across various channels. Most importantly, consumers love these delicious and innovative artisan crisps.”
Riverside plans to drive growth at both Kii and NuStef through leveraging a strong distribution network in both Canada and the United States, existing broker/retailer relationships, cross-selling and developing new products and flavors, among other strategies.
“Riverside is the ideal group to take Kii to the next level,” said Shah.
The companies will also benefit from the industry relationships and experience of Riverside Senior Food & Beverage Advisor Richard Lan, who spent most of his career in North American baked goods manufacturing.
Working with Kriscunas, Phing and Lan on the deal for Riverside were Vice President Caroline Shettle, Senior Associate Jon Gross, Associate Connor Ryan, Operating Partner Ron Savelli, and Operating Executive Hayden Cotterill. Regional Director, Origination Cheryl Strom sourced the deal for Riverside. Partner Anne Hayes helped secure the financing for the transaction.
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on making control and non-control investments in growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 490 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 80 companies.
The Riverside Company
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Photo courtesy of Kii Naturals Inc