North Castle Recaps Flatbreads Maker

North Castle Partners has recapitalized Flatout Inc., a Saline, Mich.-based maker of premium flatbreads, wraps and snack crisps. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which also included participation from Glencoe Capital’s Michigan Opportunities Fund.

PRESS RELEASE
Private equity firm North Castle Partners announced today that it has recapitalized premium flatbread maker Flatout, Inc., in partnership with co-founders Stacey and Mike Marsh. Glencoe Capital’s Michigan Opportunities Fund participated on the recapitalization, the terms of which were not disclosed.

Founded over 10 years ago by entrepreneurs Stacey and Mike Marsh in Saline, MI, Flatout manufactures and markets healthy, premium flatbreads, wraps, and snack crisps sold under its own Flatout brand to the grocery, mass, club store and food-service channels. The superior taste and nutrition profile of Flatout, along with the success of its marketing partnerships, has resulted in a strong and loyal following among diet and health-oriented consumers. The company has also garnered numerous awards from health magazine editors and bloggers.

“Providing consumers with healthy nutrition options is paramount to North Castle’s mission to build industry leading companies in the Healthy Living & Aging market,” said Chip Baird, North Castle’s Managing Partner. “We are proud to welcome Stacey and Mike Marsh and the entire Flatout team into the North Castle family. We look forward to sharing our knowledge, network and experience in this space with such exceptional entrepreneurs.”

“We are excited to be partnering with North Castle given their successful track record of growing strong, niche brands like ours into nationally recognized brands like Naked Juice,” said Stacey Marsh, CEO. “We were impressed by their knowledge of the industry, their values and commitment to partnership with us, and the expertise of their team in the areas of strategy, marketing, operations and IT,” added Mike Marsh, SVP of Operations.

North Castle Managing Director Lou Marinaccio added, “By leveraging our prior experience in the food and beverage industry from our successes with EAS and Naked Juice and current investment in Nutrition Solutions, a platform including Atkins and Bora Bora, we will expand Flatout’s consumer base, product portfolio and distribution while building a national, household brand.”

North Castle, a private equity firm focused on consumer businesses that promote health and wellness, is well known in the nutrition industry through its current investments in weight management leader Atkins Nutritionals and Bora Bora Organic Foods, a brand of natural functional foods based on authentic Polynesian superfruits, as well as prior successful investments in EAS, Naked Juice, and Enzymatic Therapy.

Glencoe Capital is an experienced investor in branded food companies, including in the specialty breads sector. Glencoe currently owns Toronto-based Ace Bakery, which develops and markets a range of premium artisan breads under its own brand; previous portfolio companies include Specialty Foods Group, a leading producer of premium meat products. Glencoe Capital’s investment in Flatout is the fourth by its Michigan Opportunities Fund.

Lincoln International advised Flatout, Inc. on the transaction. Morrison Cohen provided legal counsel to North Castle.

About North Castle Partners

North Castle Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that benefit from “Healthy Living and Aging” trends. North Castle is a hands-on, value-added investor in high-growth, middle market companies in the (i) aesthetics & personal care, (ii) consumer health, (iii) fitness & recreation, (iv) home & leisure and (v) nutrition industries. North Castle’s current portfolio includes such well-known brands as Atkins, Bora-Bora, glominerals, Mineral Fusion, Red Door Spas, Performance Bicycles, Cascade Helmets, World Health and Octane Fitness. Prior portfolio company holdings include Equinox Fitness, EAS, Enzymatic Therapy, CRC Health Group, Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula, Naked Juice Company and Avalon Natural Products. North Castle and its operating advisors partner with management to bring a wide range of strategic and operational capabilities, as well as an extensive knowledge base and network to build world-class companies. North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT. For more information, visit www.northcastlepartners.com.

About Flatout

Flatout is an established healthy, premium brand of distinctive flatbreads and other related flatbread products sold under the Flatout Brand through retail grocery, mass market, club store and other channels. Flatout enjoys strong brand recognition with weight-conscious and health-minded consumers targeting enthusiast groups such as Best Life Diet and Weight Watchers, particularly because of its delicious taste and lower calorie, high protein, and high fiber nutritional profile. Flatout is the official flatbread of the Best Life Diet, a program created by Bob Greene, Oprah’s personal trainer. Flatout’s innovative, branded and patented products provide a healthy alternative to traditional breads and are applicable to a wide variety of unique and convenient culinary uses such as sandwich wraps, hamburger rolls, pinwheels, flatbread pizza and quesadillas. Flatout has a loyal retail presence with a diverse national customer base. Flatout produces all of its products in a highly efficient manufacturing facility in Saline, Michigan. In 2009, Flatout introduced two new product lines, FOLDit™, a creative foldable artisan flatbread, and EdgeOn™ Crisps, a healthy baked snack chip based on Flatout’s core flatbread product.

About Glencoe Capital and the Michigan Opportunities Fund

Founded in 1993, Glencoe Capital is a private equity firm focused on lead-sponsored acquisitions and growth equity investments in lower middle-market companies. A participant in the InvestMichigan! initiative established by the state of Michigan in 2008, Glencoe’s Michigan Opportunities Fund represents a groundbreaking partnership between public and private sectors, leveraging equity capital to make lead-sponsored acquisitions and growth equity investments in companies in Michigan or with the prospect of expanding operations into the state. The firm has offices in Chicago and in Birmingham, Mich. More information is at www.glencap.com.