United Natural Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) is buying Trudeau Foods LLC, adding to an M&A trend in the better-for-you food space, for an undisclosed amount.
Trudeau Foods, which is backed by private equity firm Arbor Investments III LP, distributes natural, organic and specialty food products. The company, headquartered in Burnsville, Minn., makes meats, frozen foods, dairy, bakery, deli, seafood and dry grocery items. Trudeau’s products are in chain and independent grocery stores, wholesale store and meat markets in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The deal is part of United Natural’s plan to grow its market share in the natural and organic food products space. The Providence, R.I.-based buyer distributes natural organic and specialty foods, as well as nutritional supplements, personal care items and produce, in the U.S.
Arbor Investments, headquartered in Chicago, focuses on buying food and beverage companies. The firm has invested in more than 32 companies in North America since it was founded in 1999. Arbor is invested in Trudeau Holdings LLC, the parent of Trudeau Foods. Other investments include New French Bakery Inc., Fieldbrook Foods Corp. and Rice Garden Inc.
Other recent better-for-you food deals include Brynwood Partners VI LP’s acquisition of Lightlife from ConAgra Foods Inc. in September, and Investcorp’s purchase of Tyrrells Potato Crisps for $152 million in August.
For more on the food sector, see “Snack Time.”