SigmaBleyzer has acquired Jus-Made LP, a Dallas-based beverage maker. No financial terms were disclosed. The seller was the family of company founder Lamar Dial, a co-creator of Orange Julius and a member of the development team that eventually created the 7-Eleven Slurpee. The Dial family will retain a minority ownership stake.
Today SigmaBleyzer, a leading emerging markets private equity firm with $1 billion in assets under management, announced the acquisition of Jus-Made, LP, a beverage manufacturing company based in Dallas. The purchase marks a first for the firm as it expands to take advantage of opportunities in the US market. With 15 years experience in emerging markets in Eastern Europe and portfolio companies in food and beverage and other consumer products sectors, the acquisition is a natural transition based on the firm’s core competencies and ability to create value at the operational level without the use of leverage.
“After over 100 transactions in Eastern Europe, it is very exciting for us to return to our home base and apply our experience to the many attractive opportunities that have become available in the US as a result of the financial crisis. And of course there’s no better place to start than in our own state of Texas. Having looked at a number of opportunities available here, we concluded that Jus-Made represents a great entry into this market. This 50-year old business has rich culture, a great long-term customer base and superior manufacturing capabilities that can produce high quality products. The financial difficulties that the company has faced over the last couple of years have been resolved by our investment. Our commitment to customers and superior manufacturing has been renewed and a combined team of Jus-Made and SigmaBleyzer professionals is ready to serve our customers. Our goal is to develop Jus-Made into a world class beverage engineering company. I am very excited about this new chapter in Jus-Made’s history and delighted to be a part of it,” said Michael Bleyzer, President and CEO of SigmaBleyzer.
Jus-Made, LP has manufactured a wide variety of products in the beverage sector for the last 54 years. The company was originally founded by Lamar Dial, one of the creators of Orange Julius as well as a member of the development team that eventually created the 7-Eleven Slurpee©. Mr. Dial’s family had retained control of the company since its inception and will continue to maintain partial ownership.
“The family is proud of Jus-Made’s rich history and excited to pass that legacy on to such capable individuals, and a company with the wealth of experience SigmaBleyzer provides,” said Josh Barfield, great-grandson of founder Lamar Dial.
The company has received an “A” rating from the BRC certifying body for the Global Food Safety Initiative and its facility in Dallas includes modern beverage processing equipment, efficient pasteurizing processes, large blending tanks, and effective production measures also certified under HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points System). Jus-Made’s products can be found throughout the United States in grocery stores, wholesale clubs, convenience stores, restaurants and bars.
“The experience and financial stability of our new owners and our new capabilities including a hot-fill line, which was funded by SigmaBleyzer’s investment, will help to further separate Jus-Made, LP from its competitors,” said John Hampton, President of Jus-Made, LP.
Since 1994, SigmaBleyzer has been active in private equity in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Having invested in 130 different companies and realized exits over 100 times, the firm has a strong record of creating value in portfolio companies. Operating in markets that had little or no leverage available resulted in a strong company culture focused on creating value at the operational level of the business and not through financial engineering. New opportunities created in the US as a result of the financial crisis will benefit significantly from this approach to private equity. The firm has offices in the United States, Bulgaria, Romania, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.