VMG Buys Into Robert’s American Gourmet Foods

VMG Partners has acquired an undisclosed stake in Robert’s American Gourmet Foods, a maker of maker of  natural gourmet snack lines marketed under the Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Tings brand names.


VMG Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in acquiring and building branded consumer product companies in the lower middle market, today announced it has made an investment in Robert’s American Gourmet Foods in partnership with its founder, Robert Ehrlich. VMG’s investment in the company will provide financial capital and branding resources to help accelerate the rapid growth of the Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puff’s and Tings brands of natural, better-for-you snacks.

Robert’s American Gourmet was founded in 1986 by Mr. Ehrlich and today offers a number of natural gourmet snack lines marketed under the Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Tings brand names. Robert’s American Gourmet snacks are sold nationwide in major supermarket chains and specialty stores.

“Our partnership with Robert is an example of our unique ability to work with leading entrepreneurs who have created successful, growing brands that are poised for significant growth but require specialized financial and branding resources to fuel expansion,” said Michael L. Mauze, co-founder and Managing Director of VMG Partners.  “We have had the pleasure of learning from Robert who for 20 years has been a leader in the healthy snack category and we are very excited by his infectious creativity, innovative talents, and unrelenting commitment to the quality of the Pirate’s Booty brand. Partnering with Robert and the management team will be rewarding for the company and our investors, and we are sure it will also be exciting and fun.”

Kara Cissell-Roell, Managing Director, said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to support one of the leading brands in the $2 billion natural snacks category. Growing at over 15% per year, the natural snacks category is fueled by the American consumers’ demands for healthier, unique foods with simple, wholesome ingredients and we expect that trend to continue.”

VMG Partners’ portfolio of consumer oriented products include its equity investment in Mighty Leaf, a manufacturer of a broad range of ultra-premium, artisan specialty tea blends from around the world; Colorescience, a luxury mineral makeup brand known for its high-quality ingredients; Waggin’ Train, a rapidly growing marketer of premium, all-natural pet treats sold nationwide; and Timbuk2, manufacturer and marketer of everyday carry-all bags and accessories.

About VMG Partners

VMG Partners is a private equity investment firm with an exclusive focus on acquiring highly branded consumer products companies in the lower middle market.  The firm’s defined set of attractive target industries include lifestyle, wellness, food/beverage, personal care, pet and leisure.  The firm is led by a seasoned group of partners who have worked together over many years and whose complementary operating, marketing, and investing skills help to source proprietary transactions and enhance the value of the brands they acquire.  The firm currently has $325 million of committed equity capital.  VMG Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  For more information, visit www.vmgpartners.com.