Benford Capital

Benford Capital Partners LLC has made a control investment in snack producer Saco Foods LLC for an undisclosed amount. Saco founder Ray Sanna and CEO Tom Walzer will continue to lead the company going forward.

Saco manufactures branded food products sold primarily to supermarkets and mass retailers across the U.S. The target’s main products include: Dolci Frutta, a chocolate hard-shell dessert dip for fruit, nuts and similar snacks; and Saco Pantry, a brand name used to distribute powdered instant milk, powdered dry buttermilk and baking cocoa. Founded in 1973, Saco operates from its facility in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Benford Capital is a lower middle market private equity firm based in Chicago. The PE firm makes control investments in companies with up to $5 million in Ebitda to build businesses over longer time periods. Saco Foods marks as Benford Capital’s 15th investment since the firm’s inception in 2004. The firm targets businesses in a variety of industries, however avoids industries such as retail, restaurants, software, start-ups, real estate, commodity products, and biotech.

Food companies remain as a popular target for dealmakers. Recent food deals include: Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.’s agreement to buy banana importer Fyffes Plc for $798 million in cash; Kellogg Co.'s (NYSE: K) purchasing of Brazilian food company Parati Group, a maker of biscuits, pasta and powdered beverages, for $430 million; ConAgra Foods Inc.’s (NYSE: CAG) completing  the sale of JM Swank’s ingredient distribution business to Platinum Equity; and McCormick & Co.'s (NYSE: MKC) buying Enrico Giotti S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of flavors and extracts, for nearly $127 million in cash.

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