US-based private investment group Forward Consumer Partners has entered into a partnership with local tortilla chips and salsa producer Xochitl.

Forward will acquire a 50% ownership stake in the business for an unknown sum.

Xochitl’s founder and CEO Carlos Salinas will keep a 50% share in the company.

The deal has been backed by Forward’s Fund I, which closed in December 2023 at $425m.

Founded in 1995, Xochitl produces a range of plain and flavoured corn tortilla chips and salsas at its base in Irving, Texas. It claims to be the largest independent corn tortilla chips brand in the US.

The company sells its products directly through its website, as well as through a number of retailers in North America, including Hannaford, Davidson Specialty Foods, KeHE, Nassau Candy and Abhraham Natural Foods.

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It also exports to South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Commenting on the partnership, Salinas said: “Forward brings the vision and execution to help achieve our aspirations, and I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey together.”

Matt Leeds, founder and managing partner of Forward Consumer Partners, added: “There is so much to love about Carlos’ story and the brand he has created. We see immense opportunity to build on the authenticity, heritage, and quality that define Xochitl, and we’re honored to help enhance the foundation that will support the Company for its next three decades and beyond.”

The transaction marks Forward’s second acquisition from Fund I. Earlier this year, the investment firm bought a majority stake in the Washington-based crackers, cakes and bread maker Firehook Bakery.