AUA Private Equity Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm investing in U.S. Hispanic-oriented and/or family-owned businesses has completed a recapitalization of Associated Foods Holdings. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
AUA Private Equity Partners (“AUA Equity”), a lower middle-market private equity firm investing in U.S. Hispanic-oriented and/or family-owned businesses is pleased to announce that it has completed a recapitalization of Associated Foods Holdings, LLC (“Associated”) in partnership with the company’ s owners. AUA Equity’ s strategic partnership with Associated’s owners and management team will allow the company to accelerate its growth by adding new stores to its existing network and increase its financing capacity to its customers for remodeling and expansion. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Established more than 50 years ago, Associated is a specialty distributor of grocery products to branded independent (predominately Hispanic owned) retail supermarkets in the New York metropolitan area, one of the largest retail food markets in the United States. Associated provides grocery distribution, financing, marketing and promotional services to approximately 250 independently owned and operated grocery stores, which typically carry the “Associated” or “Compare” trade name. Harry Laufer and Ira Gober, Associated’s co-Chief Executive Officers, will continue to lead the company through its next stage of growth with AUA Equity.
Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Equity and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Associated commented: “We are pleased to partner with Harry Laufer and Ira Gober who are true icons in the New York City supermarket industry. Associated has an outstanding business model and Harry and Ira have done a tremendous job building the company over the past thirty years. We look forward to partnering with them to help grow the company and increase its profitability.”
Ira Gober added, “Over the past few years we have been thinking about bringing in a strategic investor and I believe that we have now found the right partner to help accelerate our growth plans. We are excited to be in partnership with the AUA Equity team. They understand our Hispanic customer base and their collaborative approach has shown me that they will add true value.”
Harry Laufer commented, “We have known Andy and his father Joe for many years and we believe that Andy’s experience in the Hispanic market will allow Associated to continue to successfully expand our presence in New York City and other markets.”
“This is a quintessential investment that fits squarely within AUA Equity’s wheelhouse – a Hispanic-oriented and family-owned business. Our investment team’s complementary skill set and appreciation, understanding, and know-how of the industry allowed us to successfully consummate this recapitalization. I am proud to be connected to a company that has done so much for the New York City Hispanic supermarket community,” Mr. Unanue added.
In addition to Mr. Unanue, the AUA Equity deal team was led by Partners Steven Flyer and David Benyaminy, Vice Presidents Kyce Chihi and Nancy Rocha and Associate Jack Lin. McDermott Will & Emery provided legal advice to AUA Equity and Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP was counsel to the company.
About AUA Equity
AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC is a New York-based, operationally-focused, lower middle- market private equity firm. AUA Equity is a next generation investment manager that is successfully capturing the rising tide of the evolving U.S. demographic landscape. The firm makes equity investments in companies in the consumer, media and business services sectors with a particular focus on Hispanic-oriented companies and family-owned businesses located in the United States. AUA Equity makes equity investments of $10 to $30 million in companies that generate in excess of $3 million in EBITDA.