L Catterton agreed to sell Cholula, which makes hot sauce, to McCormick & Co. for $800 million. The firm acquired Cholula in April 2019 in a carve-out transaction.
L Catterton, the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Cholula, a leading producer and distributor of hot sauce, to McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE: MKC) for $800 million. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Since acquiring Cholula in April 2019, L Catterton established Cholula as a standalone enterprise and transformed the organization, while driving a robust value creation plan that has positioned the company for continued growth. L Catterton completed a successful carve-out, recruited an industry-leading management team, and laid a strong operational foundation to support growth. In partnership with Cholula’s exceptional leadership team, L Catterton helped unlock Cholula’s potential by investing heavily behind the brand and product, with a focus on building consumer awareness and loyalty. Cholula’s ambitious commercial strategy centered on investments designed to drive new restaurant partnerships, retail distribution, and in-store execution. Under L Catterton’s ownership, Cholula grew household penetration by over 50% and gained meaningful market share.
“L Catterton was the perfect partner as we executed on the strategic transformation of the Cholula business,” said Maura Mottolese, Chief Executive Officer of Cholula. “With the support, resources, and operational expertise of the L Catterton team, we established Cholula as a high-performing standalone business, vastly improved our commercial execution efforts, and pivoted our foodservice strategy to position Cholula for long-term growth and success. L Catterton was well-positioned to acquire and grow the Cholula business by virtue of its global footprint, including its presence and local team in Mexico. We look forward to building on our success as part of the McCormick family.”
“Cholula is one of the most iconic assets within the food and beverage landscape, and we immediately recognized that there were a number of exciting ways to realize its potential as a standalone business,” said Scott Dahnke, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton. “In a category that continues to benefit from a number of strong secular tailwinds and attractive consumer trends, Cholula’s best-in-class team and refocused business strategy have positioned the company as a clear leader in a large and growing segment.”
Matt Leeds, Partner at L Catterton, added, “Cholula fits perfectly with L Catterton’s strategy of investing behind powerful brands in advantaged categories. It has been a true privilege to partner with Cholula’s exceptional management team, and to have participated in the success of this beloved brand.”
“We are incredibly excited that Cholula will be joining the McCormick family. It has achieved remarkable success since being acquired by L Catterton in early 2019. We look forward to building on Cholula’s already strong foundation to continue the momentum through the next stage of Cholula’s future growth,” said Lawrence E. Kurzius, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of McCormick.
L Catterton has significant experience investing globally in CPG brands. Current and former CPG investments include The Honest Company, Kettle Brands, Zarbee’s, Home Chef, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Plum Organics, Wellness Pet Food, YoCrunch, Ferrara Candy Company, and Sweet Leaf Tea, as well as other leading consumer brands such as Restoration Hardware, Peloton, Sandro/Maje, CorePower Yoga, SteelSeries, ClearChoice, and Equinox.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as lead financial advisor to Cholula; Houlihan Lokey, Inc. is acting as financial advisor to Cholula; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to L Catterton and Cholula.
Cholula’s delicious hot sauce is created from a generations-old recipe featuring carefully selected arbol and piquin peppers and a secret blend of signature spices. Its unique recipe delivers a robust flavor with just the right amount of heat, with versatility far beyond the everyday condiment. Cholula’s distinctive wooden cap and artistic yellow label are testaments to the quality tradition of Mexican artisanship, and each bottle of Cholula is crafted with care in Jalisco, Mexico. Introduced into the U.S. in 1989, Cholula’s hot sauce now comes in six varieties and is enjoyed around the world.
About L Catterton
With approximately $20 billion of equity capital across seven fund strategies in 17 offices globally, L Catterton is the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 200 investments in leading consumer brands. L Catterton was formed through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH, and Groupe Arnault. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.