Brynwood Partners said Monday that it has acquired the Lightlife brand from ConAgra Foods. No financial terms were disclosed. The acquisition also includes the Lightlife manufacturing facility in Turners Falls, Mass. Lightlife, which will be based in Boston, is a producer of meatless food items.
GREENWICH, CT — September 16, 2013 — Brynwood Partners VI L.P. announced today that its newly-formed portfolio company, Lightlife Foods, Inc., has acquired Lightlife®, one of ConAgra Foods’ smaller brands with product lines that include vegetarian-based burgers, hotdogs and other meatless frozen and refrigerated items. The acquisition includes the Lightlife manufacturing operation in Turners Falls, MA. Terms and conditions of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
Lightlife Foods will be headquartered in the Boston, MA area and its manufacturing facility will continue to be located in Turners Falls, MA. The new company looks forward to continuing to utilize the facility to support the manufacturing needs of the business.
Lightlife, a healthy eating brand that was founded more than 34 years ago, is a leader in the meat alternative category. As part of this transaction, Brynwood VI announced the appointments of Roy Lubetkin as President and CEO and Michael Morin as CFO of the company. Before joining Lightlife Foods, Mr. Lubetkin served as CEO of Sun Country Foods, Inc., a successful Brynwood VI portfolio company that was divested in 2012, and prior to that served as CEO of Backyard Farms, LLC. Mr. Morin most recently served as CFO of Sun Country Foods and prior to that held the position of CFO of Richelieu Foods, Inc., a successful Brynwood Partners V L.P. portfolio company that was divested in 2010.
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Lightlife and its manufacturing facility from ConAgra Foods,” said Henk Hartong III, Senior Managing Partner, Brynwood VI. “Lightlife is a well-known brand with excellent nutritional and wellness attributes. Lightlife has a very loyal consumer following and customer base. We look forward to investing in Lightlife Foods and extending the company’s refrigerated and frozen meatless offerings.”
Brynwood Partners has now completed 38 brand acquisitions from 15 different corporate sellers. The Lightlife acquisition is Brynwood Partners first transaction with ConAgra Foods. Brynwood Partners has a strong investment track record in the food space with active investments including:
· DeMet’s Candy Company (Brynwood V portfolio company), a leading U.S.-based chocolate confectionery company manufacturing and marketing the Turtles®, Flipz® and Treasures® brands.
· Back to Nature Foods Company, LLC (Brynwood VI portfolio company), a marketer of natural food products including crackers, cookies, nuts and granola.
· Pearson Candy Company (Brynwood VI portfolio company), a manufacturer and marketer of widely recognized confectionery brands including Pearson’s® Salted Nut Roll, Pearson’s® Mint Patties, Pearson’s® Nut Goodies, Pearson’s® Bun and Bit-O-Honey®. Prior investments by Brynwood Partners in the food space include Sun Country Foods, Balance Bar Company, Richelieu Foods, Lincoln Snacks Company and Signature Snacks Company.
About Brynwood Partners:
Founded in 1984, Brynwood Partners is an operationally-focused private equity fund that makes control investments in North American based lower middle market companies in the consumer sector.
Brynwood Partners currently manages more than $500 million of private equity capital for its limited partners who include U.S. and international pension funds, fund-of-funds, endowments, high net worth family investment offices and financial institutions. For more information on Brynwood Partners, please visit www.brynwoodpartners.com.
About ConAgra Foods:
ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies with branded and private branded food found in 99 percent of America’s households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations globally. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt’s®, Marie Callender’s®, Orville Redenbacher’s®, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim®, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, along with food sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores. Additionally, ConAgra Foods supplies frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to commercial and foodservice customers. ConAgra Foods operates ReadySetEat.com, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with easy dinner recipes and more. For more information, please visit www.conagrafoods.com.