Gold Star Foods scores over $40 mln from Castle Harlan

Castle Harlan Inc has invested more than $40 million in Gold Star Foods. Part of this capital infusion will be used to finance Gold Star Food’s acquisition of Phoenix, Arizona-based Colyar Technology Solutions, a provider of food distribution and compliance management software. Based in Ontario, California, Gold Star Foods is a distributor of “approved foods” for school meals in the Southwestern U.S.


NEW YORK, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity investment firm, announced today that it has invested more than $90 million in the first quarter of 2017 to support the growth of its portfolio and enhance value for its investors. These investments have included steps to consolidate the position of Gold Star Foods as the preeminent company to help states and local school districts across the country comply with complex state and federal regulations governing government funding and nutritional content requirements for school meal programs.

Gold Star Foods, based in Ontario, CA, is a leading distributor of approved foods for school meals in the Southwestern United States, whose customers include the Los Angeles Unified School District, California’s largest and the nation’s second-largest school district, among others. In addition to California, Gold Star Foods also serves a number of schools in Arizona and Nevada. Castle Harlan has invested more than $40 million in Gold Star Foods during the first quarter of 2017, bringing its total investment to more than $60 million over the last 12 months, to support the growth of Gold Star Foods. A portion of this capital was used to fund the acquisition of Colyar Technology Solutions, a leading designer, developer and marketer of food distribution and compliance management software, as well as the construction of a new 188,000-square-foot food distribution center in Dixon, CA. The Dixon, CA, warehouse supports Gold Star’s expansion in Northern California.

The combination of Gold Star Foods and Colyar Technology Solutions provides a unique platform that leverages Gold Star Foods’ deep knowledge and industry leadership around nutritional content in school meal programs with Colyar Technology Solutions’ leading technical expertise in developing software products for regulatory compliance management.

More than half of U.S. states currently use Colyar Technology Solutions’ cloud-based solutions to properly track and document government funding allocations for government food distribution programs. With Gold Star Foods’ knowledge around nutritional content, Colyar Technology Solutions has begun developing a new suite of technology-enabled solutions to help states and local school districts document and comply with nutritional content standards, an eligibility requirement for certain government funding. Gold Star Foods is uniquely positioned to offer this service.

For another portfolio company, the world’s leading contractor of jack-up rigs for off-shore oil and gas drilling, Castle Harlan acquired more than $80 million of debt in January at a discount to face value of 40 percent. Castle Harlan was able to take advantage of volatility in the energy capital markets to make a compelling investment on behalf of its investors, while also strengthening the balance sheet of its portfolio company.

“With these investments, Castle Harlan continues to find attractive opportunities to deploy capital and create value through active portfolio management,” said Eric Schwartz, Managing Director of Castle Harlan. “2017 has already proven to be a busy and successful year, and we are excited by the prospects we are seeing for future investments.”

About Castle Harlan
Castle Harlan, founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies worldwide. Castle Harlan has completed 55 acquisitions with more than 100,000 employees and total transaction value in excess of $11 billion. Castle Harlan, along with its affiliates, has managed investment funds with equity commitments of over $6 billion. The firm traces its roots to the start of the institutionalized private equity business in the late 1960s.