TruFood Manufacturing, a US snacks maker, has been acquired by local private-equity firm AUA for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1985, Pittsburgh-based TruFood – formerly known as Tsudis Chocolate Co. – is a contract manufacturer of branded and private-label nutrition bars, protein bars, chocolate moulded products, and baked goods for packaged goods companies and retailers. Its products are sold at club, grocery, drug, convenience, and department stores worldwide. 

David Benyaminy, partner of New York-based AUA Private Equity, said: “We welcome TruFood as the newest company in our portfolio. TruFood will be a leading manufacturer in the growing snacking and nutrition bar segments and this acquisition is a complement to our growing portfolio of food manufacturers. We see great growth opportunities in this industry and our strategic acquisition of TruFood will not only enhance the AUA portfolio but support TruFood’s long-term success.”

AUA said it intends to bring a number of resources including capital, operational expertise and enhanced management depth to allow TruFood to “better service its customers through a broader portfolio of product capabilities, more robust research and development and a stronger balance sheet”.

In addition to retaining current chief executive officer Pete Tsudis, AUA has brought in industry veterans Ted Schouten, who will serve as president, and Brad Balkovec, who will serve as chief financial officer. In addition, the company has added former Mondelez International and Hershey executive Martin Frech to the TruFood board of directors.

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Schouten said: “AUA Private Equity’s commitment to TruFood is a testament to the company’s potential and the strong foundation that Pete built. TruFood is now positioned to enter the second half of 2019 in a stronger financial position and poised for growth. We are excited to work with the company’s valued partners – its customers and suppliers – supported by TruFood’s top-notch team of employees.”

Earlier this year, AUA launched Gourmet Culinary, a vehicle set up to acquire interests in and partner with speciality food manufacturers.