Red Monkey Foods, backed by San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP), has purchased specialty salt and spice distributor San Francisco Salt Co., for an undisclosed amount. The deal comes nearly a year since SFEP acquired a majority stake in Red Monkey Foods.
Founded in 2002, San Francisco Salt Co. sells specialty sea salt, Himalayan salt, Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt products using a variety of distribution channels to both the gourmet and personal care markets. The target expects to benefit from Red Monkey’s manufacturing, innovation and distribution resources, with additional plans of “rolling out premium store brand and branded salt programs” with its retail clients. Financo LLC served as financial adviser to San Francisco Salt Co.
Red Monkey Foods makes “premium” organic seasonings, spices and other natural dry food products. The buyer distributes its products to gourmet stores and mass retailers in the U.S. from its 60,000 square foot facility in Springfield, Missouri. Red Monkey Foods’ line of products include all natural herb and spices such as: cayenne pepper, chili powder, basil, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder and more.
Founded in 2005, SFEP is a private equity firm launched with $80 million in backing from U.K investment firm LMS Capital. The San Francisco-based PE firm targets consumer-growth companies with up to $100 million in revenue and up to $10 million in Ebitda. In Sept. 2010, SFEP inked a deal to acquire California eyewear maker Zoom Eyeworks. The firm typically makes equity investments, both control and minority, between $5 million and $25 million.
M&A for businesses involving seasonings and ingredients have begun to increase in the middle market. Recent deals include: McCormick & Co.’s (NYSE: MKC) $127 million cash deal for Italian flavor maker Enrico Giotti S.p.A.; Vantage Specialty Chemicals Inc.’s buying oil and shortenings maker Mallet and Co. Inc. to expand into the ingredients business; ConAgra Foods Inc.’s (NYSE: CAG) sale of JM Swank, distributor of grains, sweeteners and seeds, to Platinum Equity; ConAgra’s completed deal to sell Spicetec, a maker of flavors, spices and seasoning products for food manufacturers, to Givaudan for $340 million; and middle-market PE firm Highlander Partners’ acquisition of Fuerst Day Lawson Holdings Ltd., a distributor of amino acids, syrups and sweeteners for food, beverage, fragrance and chemical companies.