Saco Foods, a US manufacturer of shelf-stable products, has new owners, in the shape of Canada’s Fengate Private Equity and Weathervane Investment Corp.
The buyers have acquired the Wisconsin-based business from Benford Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum.
Saco was founded in 1973 by Ray Sanna, with his father and brother, and specialises in shelf-stable products. Its portfolio includes chocolate chips, dry milk products and sun-dried tomatoes but it is probably best known for its chocolate coatings brand Dolci Frutta.
The company sells its products through supermarkets, mass retailers and the e-commerce channel.
In a statement, Fengate Private Equity, a division of Fengate Asset Management, said it is managing this investment – its first in the US – on behalf of the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.
The investment split between Fengate and Weathervane has not been disclosed.
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Saco’s existing management team, led by CEO Tom Walzer, will continue to retain a “significant equity interest” in the company.
The Sanna family sold the business to Walzer in 2014. He then recapitalised the business in partnership with Benford Capital Partners two years later.
Speaking about its new owners, Walzer said: “Saco Foods is excited to partner with Fengate and Weathervane to sponsor the company’s next chapter of growth. With our aligned vision and values, we believe this partnership will maintain and expand upon our entrepreneurial spirit and our commitment to quality.”
Jennifer Pereira, managing director and group head of private-equity at Fengate, said: “In the food and beverage sector, Saco is an excellent fit with our strategy of backing strong management teams and investing in trusted and enduring products with ample whitespace for growth.
She added: “We look forward to supporting the continued growth of the company’s existing brands through new product innovation, expanding into new categories and channels and further building the platform through acquisitions.”
In October, Saco Foods acquired Solo Foods from Chicago-based ingredients business Sokol & Company for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 1925, Solo specialises in baking ingredient products.