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December 9, 2020

US pizza-maker Urban Farmer sells stake to local investor Paine Schwartz

Urban Farmer, a plant-based dough products manufacturer based in the US, has sold a stake in the business to a local investment firm for an undisclosed sum.

By Leonie Barrie

Urban Farmer, a plant-based dough products manufacturer based in the US, has sold a stake in the business to local investment firm Paine Schwartz Partners for an undisclosed sum.

A source familiar to the deal told just-food the California-based investor has taken a controlling stake in Illinois-based Urban Farmer.

Founded in 2013, Urban Farmer is a manufacturer of better-for-you, plant-based products including topped pizzas, flatbreads, tortillas and sandwich buns. 

It distributes its branded and own-label products through major retailers and also sells to pizza brands.

Paine Schwartz’s live investments in the food industry include Lyons Magnus, a US-based maker of dessert sauces and toppings.

It said the Urban Farmer deal establishes a new investment platform – Paine Schwartz Food Chain Fund V.

The fund closed to investments in October with total capital commitments of US$1.42bn. It attracted investors from the US and Canada but also from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Urban Farmer's management team, led by CEO John Keigher, will continue leading and developing the business under Paine Schwartz ownership. 

Keigher said: "With consumer demand for healthy and convenient food rapidly increasing, our company is poised to reach new levels of growth. The Paine Schwartz team brings significant food chain and speciality food manufacturing experience along with a focus on, and commitment to, ESG and sustainability, all of which align with our values and the resources to help us achieve our goals."

Kevin Schwartz, CEO of Paine Schwartz, said: "With its highly on-trend, versatile product offering, state-of-the-art facilities and impressive customer base, Urban Farmer has a strong foundation from which to build on its leading segment share."

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