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December 15, 2021

Mountain House owner Oregon Freeze Dry joins Arbor Investments stable

Oregon Freeze Dry has supplied the US military and NASA with its on-the-go meals.

Oregon Freeze Dry, the owner of the Mountain House adventure food brand, has been acquired by US private-equity firm Arbor Investments.

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Taking its name from the same US state, the Albany-based business manufactures freeze-dried on-the-go meals designed for hikers and campers. It also has a standalone Bio Pharma division serving pharmaceutical companies with probiotics and proteins.

Arbor, an investment firm headquartered in Chicago focused on food and beverages, has been busy in M&A this year and only this week announced a deal for pet-food supplier Carnivore Meat Company. Last month, Arbor acquired the Canadian salsa-to-tofu maker Fontaine Santé Foods.

Like Carnivore Meat, Oregon Freeze Dry (OFD) has been purchased through the private-equity firm’s Fund V, marking the platform’s fifth investment.

The price it paid for OFD from fellow US investor Endeavour Capital has not been disclosed.

Chris Tuffin, a partner at Arbor, said: “Oregon Freeze Dry is the clear market leader for a broad range of high value-added products in thriving categories. The company’s unmatched scale, Mountain House’s brand equity, and long-term relationships with blue-chip customers make this a compelling platform investment for Arbor.”

OFD was founded in 1963 and operates four production facilities employing almost 550 people. A fifth plant is due to be added on the West Coast and is expected to be operational by the middle of next year. CEO Joe Folds and the management team will remain in place.

The Mountain House brand features preserved canned and packaged meals such as curry, lasagne and stroganoff, and also breakfast foods like granola with milk and scrambled eggs. Its products are distributed in the US and Canada through speciality retail stores, in the mass and club channels and online.

OFD’s products have also been supplied to the US military and NASA.

Folds added: “For decades, Oregon Freeze Dry has set the standard of excellence in meals for consumers and the US military, as well as serving as a trusted partner for our contract manufacturing customers. Our ambition has always been to grow – across both new products and new capabilities – and we are excited to be partnering with Arbor, who completely shares our appetite and vision for continued ambitious growth.”

Arbor has this year added Bagel Boy and Michel’s Bakery to its portfolio, and last year acquired Steck Wholesale Foods, a manufacturer of muffins and biscuits.

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VC funding trends to watch out for in Consumer

Consumer industry investors across the world are betting big on the ESG trend to pick up in the future and are focusing on backing the start-ups and emerging companies working in the meat-alternative products category.   The top two deals in this category were the $500 million investment raised by Impossible Foods and the $347 million investment deal for Future Meat Technologies.  GlobalData’s Venture Capital Investments – Consumer 2021 will help you dive into the capital raising landscape across regions and themes.  Use the report to identify emerging signals and trends across Consumer, formulating winning strategies for the road ahead.   
by GlobalData
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