Palladium’s investment in trail mix maker Kar’s reinforces interest in snack producers

Private equity firm Palladium Equity Partners has made an investment in Kar Nut Products Co., a manufacturer of assorted trail mix products, for an undisclosed amount. Palladium intends to help Kar’s expand geographically and through acquisitions.

Founded in 1933, Kar’s offers a broad range of trail mix products including “all-natural” products under the Second Nature brand for health conscious consumers. The target’s products come in a variety of assortments, including: sweet ‘n salty, nut ‘n berry, apple nut trailbreak, salted caramel delight, peanut butter ‘n dark chocolate mix, chocolate cranberry combo, cranberry almond, sweet ‘n spicy, and sriracha peanuts.

Palladium is a New York City-based private equity firm focused on lower middle-market investments. The firm has nearly $2 billion in assets under management and is currently invested in companies such as Del Real Foods, a producer of Hispanic food products sold in the Western U.S. Palladium has previously invested in food businesses such as: Teasdale Foods, a maker of bean and corn grain products; Hispanic cheese and dairy product manufacturer Castro Cheese; Tex-Mex restaurant chain Taco Bueno Restaurants; chips producer Wise Foods; and fruit snacks manufacturer Sahale Snacks.

The middle market has seen a fair share of deals regarding snack producers, including: Conagra Brands Inc.’s (NYSE: CAG) addition of meat snacks maker Thanasi Foods LLC for an undisclosed amount; Snyder’s-Lance Inc.’s (Nasdaq: LNCE) selling Diamond of California’s culinary nut line to Blue Road Capital in order to focus on its “better-for-you” snacks; and SkinnyPop owner Amplify Snacks Brands Inc.’s (NYSE: BETR) purchase of potato chips manufacturer Tyrrells for approximately $391 million.

Kar Nut Products Co. Snacks

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