Chicago-based middle market private equity firm Wind Point Partners acquired Rupari Foods, maker of pre-cooked and ready to eat ribs sold at retailers and through Tony Roma’s and Butcher’s Prime brands. Wind Point acquired Rupari in partnership with former Sara Lee Foods CEO Bob Kopriva and John Rice, who will serve as active co-chairmen, and Rupari’s CEO Robert Mintz. Paul Peitzsch will join as CFO. Specifics on the transaction were not publicized. Senior debt for the transaction was provided by GE Antares, a unit of GE Capital, Fifth Third Bank’s Food & Agribusiness Group and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. DLA Piper LLP acted as the legal advisor to Wind Point. Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal advisor to Rupari Foods.
WIND POINT PARTNERS ACQUIRES RUPARI FOODS
Chicago, IL, July 6, 2011 – Wind Point Partners, a middle market private equity investment firm, today announced that it has acquired Rupari Foods. Rupari supplies pre-cooked, ready-to-eat pork ribs and other barbecue products sold at food retailers and through foodservice operators under the Tony Roma’s and Butcher’s Prime brands.
Wind Point acquired Rupari in partnership with Bob Kopriva and John Rice, who will serve as active co-chairmen, and Rupari’s CEO Robert Mintz. Bob’s prior experience includes CEO of Sara Lee Foods, Senior Advisor at Bar-S Foods, and Chairman of Premium Standard Farms. John most recently served as President of the Americas at Unilever. Both Bob and John are members of Wind Point’s Executive Advisor team, and they also serve on the boards of Wind Point portfolio companies Santa Maria Foods and Hearthside Food Solutions, respectively. Robert Mintz has over 23 years of experience in the meat industry and has served as CEO of Rupari since 1993. In addition, Paul Peitzsch, most recently CFO of Armour-Eckrich Meats and formerly CFO of ConAgra Refrigerated Foods, is joining Rupari as CFO.
Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point, commented, “We have been working closely with Robert during nine months of due diligence to develop a clear plan to continue and support Rupari’s growth. We are excited that Bob and John will be bringing their extensive experience in the meat and consumer products industries to help drive that growth.”
Rupari Foods is the fifth platform for Wind Point VII, a $915 million fund closed in April 2009. Wind Point’s other current food industry investments include Hearthside Food Solutions, Nonni’s, Ryt-way Industries and Santa Maria Foods.
Robert Mintz, CEO of Rupari, stated, “Rupari has achieved significant growth as a family business and become a market leader in the ready-to-eat rib category. Partnering with Wind Point will allow us to grow Rupari into a world-class enterprise by accelerating the growth of our branded rib business, introducing new barbecue products, and increasing our presence in the ready-to-eat deli case.”
Senior debt for the transaction was provided by GE Antares, a unit of GE Capital, Fifth Third Bank’s Food & Agribusiness Group and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. DLA Piper LLP acted as the legal advisor to Wind Point. Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal advisor to Rupari Foods.
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a Chicago-based middle market private equity investment firm that manages commitments of approximately $2.5 billion. Wind Point focuses on partnering with top caliber CEOs to acquire middle market businesses where we can establish a clear path to value creation. Additional information about Wind Point is available at www.windpointpartners.com.
About Wind Point Partners Executive Advisor Partners
Wind Point’s Executive Advisor Partners (EAPs) are seasoned and successful executives who invest in a side-by-side fund with Wind Point Partners. Drawing upon years of experience and offering valuable insight, the EAPs assist the firm with CEO identification and evaluation, due diligence on new opportunities, and portfolio company monitoring and team development.
About Rupari Foods
Rupari is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of pre-cooked, ready-to-eat pork ribs and related barbecue products. Rupari’s products are sold in the refrigerated meat case and freezer under the Tony Roma’s brand and in the hot and cold sections of the deli under the Butcher’s Prime brand. Rupari sells its products through the country’s leading food retailers, as well as major foodservice operators. Rupari’s headquarters is in Deerfield Beach, FL with manufacturing operations in South Holland, IL.