AUA Private Equity has made an investment in Gourmet Culinary, a holding company focused on acquiring stakes in specialty food manufacturers in the U.S. No financial terms were disclosed.
NEW YORK, NY – May 1, 2019 – AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC (“AUA Private Equity” or “AUA”) is pleased to announce its investment in Gourmet Culinary Holdings, LLC (“GCH” or “Gourmet Culinary”), a holding company organized to acquire interests in, and partner with, premium specialty food manufacturers in the U.S. that focus on culinary solutions for customers across the foodservice and retail sectors.
On March 27, 2019, AUA consummated a partnership under GCH, investing alongside the owners of Gourmet Kitchen, Inc. (“Gourmet Kitchen”). Founded in 1985, Gourmet Kitchen is a Neptune, NJ based manufacturer of specialty prepared foods for hotels, restaurants, universities, corporate campuses, and distributors across the U.S. The company’s artisanal product offering includes appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, breakfast items, ethnic products, desserts and other custom and chef-inspired specialty foods. Gourmet Kitchen leads with a culinary forward approach in developing innovative products and flavors that appeal to today’s consumers.
On April 25, 2019, AUA completed its second investment for the GCH platform, partnering with the founders and senior management of Kabobs Holdings, LLC (“Kabobs”). Kabobs is a leading manufacturer of hors d’oeuvres, side items and ethnic and breakfast products that services foodservice operators, hotels, convention centers, corporate campuses, professional caterers and universities across the U.S and Canada. The business is recognized for its cornerstone traits of flavor complexity, consistent quality, continual culinary innovation and commitment to customer service.
Andy Unanue, AUA Private Equity’s Managing Partner, commented: “We are excited to establish the Gourmet Culinary Holdings platform and partner with talented operators at each of Gourmet Kitchen and Kabobs. Based on the strong performance in our portfolio company Indulge Desserts Holdings, LLC, we hope to create similar economies of scale that will allow our partners to accelerate growth and continue to offer premium customized solutions to our customers.”
The creation of Gourmet Culinary will allow both Gourmet Kitchen and Kabobs to better service existing customers through a broader portfolio of products, more robust culinary and product development resources and additional capacity for growth. Management from both companies will continue to be involved in the go-forward business.
R. Terry Hunt, Chairman of Kabobs stated: “We are extremely enthusiastic to partner with AUA and the owners of Gourmet Kitchen. As we sought to grow our company and expand our facility, we felt AUA was the ideal partner to help accelerate that growth. We share their vision of creating a premium specialty prepared foods platform with a focus on quality, consistency, and extraordinary customer service.”
Michael Lacey, President of Gourmet Kitchen, further commented: “We have been thinking about a partnership with Kabobs for years. AUA was able to make that a reality. Together, we will be able to provide a broader product offering and expansive customer service.”
Steven Flyer, Partner on the GCH transaction added: “We are pleased to establish Gourmet Culinary Holdings in partnership with the owners of Gourmet Kitchen and Kabobs as we create the leading premium specialty prepared foods platform in the U.S. Combining the resources, expertise and industry knowledge of our partners will lead to significant synergies across our platform.”
The transaction was led by Partner Steven Flyer, Managing Director Kyce Chihi, and Vice President Ari David. NXT Capital provided financing for the transaction. Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to AUA Private Equity. Additional advisors to AUA Private Equity included CohnReznick LLP, L.E.K. Consulting and Lockton Companies Inc.
About AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC
AUA Private Equity Partners is a New York based, operationally-focused, lower middle-market investment firm providing strategic capital to companies in the consumer products and services sectors with a particular focus on family-owned businesses or companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. AUA Private Equity makes equity investments of $20 to $75 million in companies that generate in excess of $5 million in EBITDA. For more information on AUA Private Equity Partners, please visit https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/WX14CqQ6NIxvoGcZoCEt?domain=auaequity.com
About Gourmet Kitchen, Inc.
Gourmet Kitchen is a family-owned Neptune, NJ based manufacturer and distributor of specialty prepared foods for hotels, restaurants, universities, corporate campuses, and distributors across the U.S. The company’s artisanal product offering includes appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, breakfast items, ethnic products, sandwiches, desserts and other custom and chef-inspired specialty foods. For more information on Gourmet Kitchen, please visit https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/COoNCr2BOFzOGXizYeYw?domain=gourmetkitcheninc.com
About Kabobs Holdings, LLC
Established more than 30 years ago, Kabobs is a founder-owned Atlanta based manufacturer of hors d’oeuvres, side items and ethnic and breakfast products that services foodservice operators, hotels, convention centers, corporate campuses, professional caterers and universities across the U.S and Canada. For more information on Kabobs, please visit https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/PhcSCvQRVIPZ3oUzArtU?domain=kabobs.com