VMG Partners Closes $375M Second Fund

San Francisco-based buyout shop VMG Partners has closed its new fund, VMG Partners II LP, with $375 million in capital commitments. VMG Partners focuses on consumer product companies in the lower middle market, and now has a total capital under management of $700 million. Park Hill Group served as placement agent for the fund. Latham & Watkins provided legal advice.

VMG Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in investing in and building branded consumer product companies in the lower middle market, today announced the first and final closing of VMG Partners II, L.P., with total capital commitments of $375 million.

VMG focuses on investing in marketing-driven, branded consumer product companies and will continue the same investment strategy it successfully deployed in its prior fund. VMG Partners works closely with entrepreneurs and management teams of branded consumer product companies employing the firm’s expertise and extensive resources to accelerate growth, drive brand awareness and create strategic value. VMG’s total capital under management now exceeds $700 million.

“Our focused investment strategy in the branded consumer sector has driven exceptional investment performance that has led to a partnership with leading institutional investors who understand our value-added investment approach,” said Michael L. Mauzé, a founder of VMG. “We greatly appreciate our investors’ trust and support and as we go forward we will continue to pursue similar investments in attractive consumer product companies that have loyal and passionate consumer bases in the food, beverage, personal care, pet products, lifestyle and wellness industries.”

VMG Partners was founded in 2005 by investment professionals David Baram, Scott Elaine Case, Kara Cissell-Roell, Michael Mauzé and Robert Schult with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Other senior investment professionals of the firm include Vice Presidents Robin Tsai and Wayne Wu.

“By working collaboratively with exceptional entrepreneurs and applying a hands-on approach to our investments we have been able to create tremendous value in leading middle market companies,” said Ms. Cissell-Roell. “We are excited about the performance of our current portfolio companies and we will apply that same operational focus in VMG II to seek to deliver truly superior returns to our investors.”

“The combination of our expertise in developing and executing marketing strategies and the unmatched media and entertainment resources uniquely available to VMG makes our firm attractive to entrepreneurs who want to take their companies to the next level,” said Mr. Baram. “We are currently evaluating a number of exciting new investments whose growth can be accelerated in part by further building their brand awareness.”

VMG is a leading investor in lower middle market branded consumer products companies. Over the past five years VMG has been one of the largest private investors in the pet food space with investments in Natural Balance Pet Foods, a leading specialty pet food brand and Waggin’ Train, which was sold last year to Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé, S.A. VMG has also invested in the healthy food and beverage sector with investments in KIND Snacks, which includes the KIND fruit and nut bar line; Pirate Brands, which includes Pirate’s Booty and Smart Puff salty snacks; Snack Factory, which includes Pretzel Crisps; and Mighty Leaf, a purveyor of premium whole tea brands. Other investments include Speck Products, Timbuk2, and Colorescience.

VMG’s investors include leading college endowments, charitable foundations, international investors and corporate pension plans.

VMG’s previous fund closed in June 2007 with $325 million of capital. Park Hill Group again served as Placement Agent for VMG Partners and legal advice was provided by Latham & Watkins.

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. VMG Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and Los Angeles.