San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP) has purchased a majority stake in organic spice manufacturer Red Monkey Foods. SFEP will partner with the target’s founder, Jeff Brinkhoff, as part of the deal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Red Monkey Foods makes “premium” organic seasonings, spices and other natural dry food products. The target 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, dill weed, garlic granules, ginger, oregano, paprika, cracked pepper citrus, bistro poultry, parmesan herb and more.
“Red Monkey Foods is at the intersection of two clear trends in the food industry: the rise of gourmet store brand programs and the continued growth of organic products in numerous categories,” states SFEP managing partner Scott Potter.
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. Method Products, Japonesque, ICU Eyewear, Artful Home, and Yes To are all among SFEP’s portfolio companies.
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.