Sun Completes Contessa Deal, Brings in Binotto

Sun Capital Partners, the Florida-based private equity firm, completed its buy of Contessa Premium Foods Inc., and appointed Donald J. Binotto as president and CEO of the new company. Most recently, Binotto was president and CEO of StarKist Co., a maker of canned seafood.


Affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Completes Acquisition of Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.
Donald J. Binotto Appointed President and CEO
Acquisition Builds on Significant Experience in the Food Industry
Appointment Brings Extensive Seafood Expertise and Industry Leadership to Contessa
BOCA RATON, FL – July 20, 2011 – Sun Capital Partners, Inc. (“Sun Capital”), a leading private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, today announced that an affiliate completed the acquisition of Contessa Premium Foods, Inc. (“Contessa”), a leading U.S. processor and distributor of premium seafood and frozen bagged convenience meals, and named Donald J. Binotto as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
Mr. Binotto has a strong track record and brings extensive leadership experience to Contessa. Most recently he was President and CEO of StarKist Co., a leading global producer, distributor and marketer of shelf-stable seafood products, where he restored StarKist Co. to profitability and significantly rebuilt market share. Prior to his tenure at StarKist Co., Mr. Binotto held various executive leadership positions at both Del Monte and the H.J. Heinz Company, where he expanded market share, increased sales and lowered overall supply chain costs in pet food, seafood, baby food, fruits and vegetables.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Don, a seasoned executive who brings two decades of industry experience and a strong understanding of the retail and wholesale food business – particularly the seafood niche,” said Jared Wien, Vice President at Sun Capital Partners. “Given his track record of improving profitability, increasing market share and developing and introducing innovative new products, we are confident that the Company and Contessa’s customers will benefit greatly from Don’s expertise and leadership.”
“Contessa Premium Foods was built on a strong foundation of product and manufacturing innovation,” Mr. Binotto said. “I look forward to working with the management team to uphold that tradition and improve the Company by refocusing the brand and store brand offerings and growing the Company both organically and through accretive add-on acquisitions.”
Other Sun Capital affiliated portfolio companies in the food industry include Del Monte Canada, Harry’s Fresh Foods, Sunrise Growers – Frozsun, Fearman’s Pork, and Creekstone Farms Premium Beef.
About Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in companies that can benefit from its in–house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 265 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $40 billion since Sun Capital’s inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as affiliates in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Shenzhen. For more information, please visit

About Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.
An environmentally and nutritionally responsible frozen food manufacturer, Contessa Premium Foods, Inc. imports, processes and distributes its products throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and markets to retail, club, foodservice, and private-label channels. Contessa’s portfolio of products includes but is not limited to specialty seafood, convenience meals, gourmet stir-fry vegetables and exotic fruit.
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