Charoen Pokphand Acquires Michelina’s Owner Bellisio to Enter U.S. Frozen Foods Business

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Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co. Ltd. has agreed to buy Bellisio Foods from Centre Partners Management LLC for $1.075 billion. The acquisition allows Charoen to grow its U.S. frozen food presence.

Bellisio, founded in 1990 and located in Minneapolis, produces frozen snacks, sauces and side dishes under the Michelina’s and Eat Brands. The company also licenses frozen food lines for Atkins, Boston Market and Chili’s. Bellisio has $668 million in annual net sales and an adjusted Ebitda of $82 million. Centre Partners purchased the target in 2011.

“This transaction marks the first step of our entry into the world’s largest food market where we see significant growth and synergy opportunities,” says Charoen CEO Adirek Sripratak. Charoen is a Bangkok-based producer and distributor of livestock feed products for farmers.

Centre Partners is a New York-based middle market private equity firm that focuses on the consumer and healthcare sectors. The firm typically invests between $10 million and $50 million in companies that have up to $40 million in Ebitda and up to $300 million in revenue. In 2015, Centre Partners invested in juice maker Sun Orchard and in 2014, the firm backed food producer Stonewall Kitchen.

Food deals have been robust in the mid-market. Grey Mountain Partners purchased Mediterranean food maker Kronos Foods; Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) agreed to buy Brazilian biscuit producer Parati Group; Palladium Equity Partners invested in Hispanic foods manufacturer Del Real Foods; and B&G Foods Inc. (NYSE: BGS) acquired Green Giant from General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS). Kainos Capital LP closed an $895 million fund to target the food and beverage sector.

Morgan Stanley & Co. (NYSE: MS), Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP are advising Bellisio. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP are advising Charoen. 

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