Brynwood Partners has formed a new portfolio company, Lightlife Foods, and has acquired Lightlife, one of ConAgra Foods’ brands with product lines that include vegetarian-based burgers, hotdogs and other meatless frozen and refrigerated items. The acquisition includes the Lightlife manufacturing operation in Turners Falls, MA.
Lightlife Foods will be headquartered in the Boston area and its manufacturing facility will continue to be located in Turners Falls. The Lightlife brand was founded more than 34 years ago (www.lightlife.com).
With the closing of this transaction Brynwood Partners has now completed 38 brand acquisitions from 15 different corporate sellers. The Lightlife acquisition is Brynwood Partners’ first transaction with ConAgra Foods.
As part of this transaction, Brynwood announced the appointments of Roy Lubetkin as President and CEO and Michael Morin as CFO of Lightlife Foods. Before joining Lightlife Foods, Mr. Lubetkin served as CEO of Sun Country Foods, a Brynwood VI portfolio company that was divested in 2012, and prior to that served as CEO of Backyard Farms. Mr. Morin most recently served as CFO of Sun Country Foods and prior to that held the position of CFO of Richelieu Foods, a Brynwood Partners V portfolio company that was divested in 2010.
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Lightlife and its manufacturing facility from ConAgra Foods,” said Henk Hartong III, Senior Managing Partner, Brynwood. “Lightlife is a well-known brand with excellent nutritional and wellness attributes and has a very loyal consumer base. We look forward to investing in Lightlife Foods and extending the company’s refrigerated and frozen meatless offerings.”
Brynwood Partners is an operationally-focused private equity firm that makes control investments in lower middle market companies. Sectors of interest include consumer products, light manufacturing with low capital intensity, and business services. Brynwood Partners has $500 million of capital under management. The firm was founded in 1984 and is based in Greenwich, CT (www.brynwoodpartners.com).
ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies with branded and private branded food found in 99 percent of America’s households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations globally (www.conagrafoods.com).
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-19-13