Universal Food, a portfolio company of Graham Partners, has purchased the assets of Global Leading Foods. The acquisition provides Universal with broader geographic reach, access to new customers, and the opportunity to serve new end markets.
Global Leading Foods (GL Foods) is a provider of high pressure pasteurization services (HPP). HPP is a non-thermal, non-chemical based method of pasteurization that uses hydrostatic pressure to eliminate foodborne pathogens and offers the ability to produce all natural products with improved nutritional value and extended shelf life. HPP technology is one of the most dynamic and fast growing segments of the broader food industry. GL Foods is based near Dallas in Coppell, TX (www.glfoodsusa.com).
Universal, acquired by Graham Partners in December 2012, is a provider of high pressure pasteurization, cold storage, and other value-added services to food and beverage manufacturers. The company is comprised of two divisions – Universal Pasteurization Company, a HPP provider with locations in Lincoln, NE; Villa Rica, GA; and Coppell, TX; and Universal Cold Storage, a provider of cold storage based in Lincoln, NE (www.universalcoldstorage.com).
The acquisition of GL Foods represents the second step Universal has taken to achieve its strategic objective of expanding its HPP footprint – in this case, into the Southwest. Just four months ago, Universal completed its first expansion, into the Southeast, by developing a new, 90,000 square foot facility in Georgia. Graham and Universal are focused on continuing Universal’s expansion into new geographic regions in order to meet increased demand for HPP.
“Graham Partners has developed a successful formula for sourcing proprietary, niche investment opportunities, and Universal and GL Foods are a testimony to this program’s success,” said Andrew Snyder, Managing Principal at Graham Partners. “We identified HPP as a cutting edge technology that delivers the food safety, quality, and nutritional value desired by consumers as well as producers and retailers. We initiated our investment in Universal with the vision of building the leading HPP platform capable of delivering elevated food freshness and wellness nationwide.”
Graham Partners seeks to acquire companies with EBITDA between $5 million and $50 million, and will invest in smaller companies as add-on acquisitions to existing portfolio companies. The firm is sponsored by the Graham Group, an industrial and investment concern with interests in plastics, packaging, machinery, building products and outsourced manufacturing. Graham Partners was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Philadelphia (www.grahampartners.net).
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-12-14