Wind Point Partners said Aug. 5 that it sold Evans Food Group to Highlander Partners. Financial terms weren’t announced. Evans, of Chicago, produces and sells a portfolio of finished pork rinds and pork rind pellets to customers in the U.S., Canada and more than ten countries across Latin America.
Chicago, IL, August 5, 2019 – Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today it has sold Evans Food Group (“Evans” or the “Company”), a leading global producer of branded and private label pork rinds, to Highlander Partners.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Evans produces and sells a diverse portfolio of finished pork rinds and pork rind pellets to customers in the U.S., Canada and more than ten countries across Latin America. Evans is dedicated to innovation and new product development, which have contributed to strong growth at the Company and across the category. Today, the pork rinds market is one of the most attractive and fastest growing segments in all of salty snacks.
Wind Point acquired Evans in April of 2016 in partnership with existing management and industry veteran José Luis Prado, who joined the Company as CEO. José Luis, an experienced executive with more than 30 years of consumer packaged goods leadership in both Latin America and the U.S., built a world-class management team and added considerable commercial and industry expertise to the Company. Wind Point also worked with José Luis to assemble a strong board of directors that included Rick Lenny, former CEO of The Hershey Company and current Wind Point Executive Advisor Partner, Rich Scalise, current CEO of Hearthside (a former Wind Point portfolio company), and Alejandro Silva, former CEO of Evans.
“Evans is a great example of the Wind Point strategy at work,” said Joe Lawler, Principal at Wind Point. “When we acquired Evans in 2016, it was a solid middle-market company with a good reputation and identifiable value creation opportunities, but the business lacked momentum. We saw an opportunity to drive considerable value by adding world class talent to the organization to drive various growth and optimization initiatives. The value creation plan we developed in close partnership with José Luis was executed in a short period of time and enabled this very strong outcome.”
During Wind Point’s ownership period of just over three years, Evans’ revenue more than doubled and margins increased through a combination of organic growth, two complementary acquisitions and various operational initiatives. Today, Evans accounts for more than half of all innovation growth in the industry and firmly stands as the premier global producer of pork rinds snacks.
José Luis Prado, CEO of Evans, stated, “I want to thank Wind Point, our board of directors and my team for their partnership and dedication over the past three years. Together we have transformed Evans into a powerful salty snack platform that is well-positioned to continue delighting our customers, employees and all stakeholders. We are excited about our future and look forward to continuing our progress in partnership with Highlander Partners.”
José Luis Prado has joined Wind Point’s longstanding network of Executive Advisor Partners where he will continue to work with the firm to identify and evaluate investment opportunities and executive talent across the food industry. Under Highlander’s ownership, José Luis will assume the Vice Chairman role.
Wind Point has been an active investor in the food industry dating back to the firm’s founding in the 1980s. In addition to Evans, select examples of prior Wind Point food investments include Hearthside, Shearer’s, Nonni’s, Santa Maria, and Bakery Chef. Wind Point’s current food portfolio includes Stir Foods, Pestell Minerals and Ingredients, and Gehl Foods.
William Blair served as exclusive financial advisor to Evans, and White & Case served as legal counsel.
About Evans Food Group
Evans Food Group Ltd. is a global producer of branded and private label finished pork rinds and pork rind pellets. Founded in 1932, the Company is headquartered in Chicago, IL. Evans currently operates six production facilities. Additional information about Evans can be found at www.evansfood.com.
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a Chicago-based private equity investment firm with approximately $2 billion in assets under management. Wind Point focuses on partnering with top caliber management teams to acquire well-positioned middle market businesses where it can establish a clear path to value creation. The firm targets investments in the consumer products, industrial products, and business services sectors. Wind Point is currently investing out of Wind Point Partners VIII, a $985 million fund that was initiated in 2016. For more information, please visit www.windpointpartners.com.