Wedbush sells Passport Food Group to Swander Pace

Swander Pace Capital has acquired Southern California-based Passport Food Group, a maker of foods to food service and retail channels in North America. The seller was Wedbush Capital Partners. No financial terms were disclosed.


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Swander Pace Capital, a leading private equity firm specializing in consumer products companies, acquired Passport Food Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of internationally-flavored foods to foodservice and retail channels in North America.

Passport Food Group (Passport), was previously owned by Wedbush Capital Partners. Passport offers more than 125 authentic, boldly flavored SKUs to national restaurants and retailer chains around the country.

Passport’s customers include Applebee’s, P.F. Chang’s, Panda Express, Cheesecake Factory, and Houlihan’s. Foodservice products are sold under the Wing Hing and House of Bee brands.

“Passport has established itself as an industry leader in high quality, on-trend, innovative cuisines,” said Heather Smith Thorne, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “With consumers increasingly looking for creatively flavored, high quality foodservice and retail products, Passport is well-positioned to leverage these trends and drive growth through a continued commitment to innovation, new products, and best-in-class manufacturing.”

Passport’s partnership approach is product development that encourages customers to collaborate with their R&D personnel throughout the process. Recent on-trend product launches by Passport include USDA certified organic appetizers, specialty noodles, wraps, and crisps.

“We are proud to partner with Passport Food Group, a highly-respected company and industry leader with world-class products and a growing customer base,” added Mark Poff, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “We look forward to working with the Passport management team to drive growth through continued R&D and new product development, expansion of retail and club relationships, and operational performance improvements.”

“For decades, Passport has provided our foodservice, food manufacturing and retail customers with high quality food products,” said John Signorino, CEO of Passport Food Group. Consumer trends dictate an increased demand for innovative, global flavored, clean label products. Swander Pace Capital, with its strong track record of building and growing world class food companies, is the ideal partner for helping us capitalize on these trends and strengthen our position as the category leader in high quality globally-flavored foods.”

About Swander Pace Capital
Swander Pace Capital (SPC) is a private equity firm that invests in companies that are integral to consumers’ lives. SPC’s consumer industry expertise informs the firm’s strategic approach and adds value through access to its proven SPC Playbook, senior team, and extensive network. The firm partners with management teams to help build companies to their full potential. SPC invests in businesses across three domains of consumer lifestyles: Food + Beverage, Body + Wellness, and Home + Family. With offices in San Francisco, New Jersey, and Toronto, SPC has invested in more than 45 companies and raised cumulative equity commitments of approximately $1.8 billion since 1996. For more information, visit

About Passport Food Group
Headquartered in Southern California, Passport Food Group, Inc. has over 170 employees. Founded in 1978, the company began as a family-owned operation with one machine making authentic noodles for Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles. Today Passport offers over 125 product SKUs across a comprehensive range of authentic, boldly-flavored product categories to food retailers and restaurants around the country.