Palladium’s Investment in Del Real Shows Globalization Drives Interest in Hispanic Foods

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Palladium Equity Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in Del Real Foods, a maker of Hispanic food products sold in the Western U.S. The investment will be used to help expand the target’s refrigerated product line and geographic reach.

Mira Loma, California-based Del Real is a maker and distributor of packaged Mexican meals for restaurants, food chains, along with grocery and convenience stores. Del Real, founded by the Cardenas family in 2002, uses preservative-free ingredients to produce proteins including: carnitas, barbacoa, rice and bean dishes, tamales, and salsa.

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 has previously invested in food companies 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.

Hispanic foods have seen a growing interest as globalization has made international cuisine more attractive. Hormel Foods Corp.’s (NYSE: HRL) vice president of corporate development Fred Halvin spoke to Mergers & Acquisitions about the company’s efforts to focus on segments that attract the growing population of millennials and Hispanics. Some other Hispanic-related food deals include: Teasdale Foods Inc.’s purchase of tortilla chips and taco shell maker Mesa Foods; Ajinomoto’s $800 million purchase of Windsor Quality Holdings LP, a maker of nacho bites and other appetizer frozen foods; and Teasdale’s acquisition of Bruce Food Corp.’s Mexican-branded beans and salsas.

Lazard Middle Market served as financial adviser to Del Real and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal adviser for Palladium.

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