AUA’s Gourmet Culinary Partners adds Holiday Foods in effort to solve hospitality challenges

The PE firm gains new outsourcing capabilities and specialty food products through the platform’s acquisition of Holiday Foods.

By Karishma Vanjani

A tightening labor market and rising food costs make it difficult for businesses to operate in the hospitality sector, a challenge that AUA Private Equity believes it is tackling through Gourmet Culinary Partner’s fifth acquisition in the specialty prepared foods segment.

AUA Partner Steven Flyer told PE Hub that the acquisition of Holiday Foods – which distributes appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to luxury hotels, private clubs, banquet houses and caterers – will help ease up pressures on the hospitality industry. The new company will also grow GCP’s specialty food network, he said.

AUA managing director Kyce Chihi, who led the deal, added: “Chefs at restaurants are seeking to outsource food production to places that can produce them at scale and with appropriate food safety.”

The deal was led by Chihi, alongside AUA vice-president Ari David and winter associate Nicolas Pflaum. Terms of the transaction, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed.

Given the challenges of R&D, limited flavor profiles and growing labor and food costs, Holiday Foods’ outsourcing services will allow hospitality businesses to operate more efficiently from a manufacturing and technology perspective, said Flyer, whose firm acquired the company from Schwan’s Company.

Holiday Foods also aims to expand GCP’s product offering as it builds out a national footprint and looks to become an outsourcing solution for chefs and hospitality businesses alike.

The acquisition gives us an “opportunity to expand into different distribution channels,” said Flyer.

GCP’s previous add-ons under AUA include Gourmet Kitchen, Kabobs, Gourmet Foods and Van-Lang.

AUA focuses on family-owned business and companies benefiting from the growing Hispanic population. It makes equity investments of $20 million to $75 million in companies with over $5 million of EBITDA.

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