Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) has made an investment in Old Hickory Smokehouse – a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of food and beverage products sold into the retail grocery and foodservice channels under both branded and private label offerings.
NEP’s investment in Old Hickory was made in partnership with the company’s chief executive officer, Wayne Wolf, a former senior executive with McDonalds. NEP has been searching for the right investment in the food and beverage segment for some time. “Our firm has been actively seeking investments in this segment, and to have the opportunity to partner with an industry veteran such as Wayne Wolf and be involved with a company that is well-positioned for continued growth is very exciting,” said Todd Solow, a NEP partner.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the NEP team,” said Mr. Wolf. “Together, we are perfectly positioned to penetrate a broad market with numerous categories including opportunities within the foodservice channel as the restaurant industry continues to diversify menu offerings and offer additional smoked products. The demand for BBQ and specialty smoked meats is growing faster than any other menu category as consumers demand high quality, authentically prepared BBQ related products.”
According to NEP, Old Hickory is differentiated within the BBQ segment through its partnership with Myron Mixon, a nationally-known Pitmaster and leader in the BBQ segment. Mr. Mixon has won numerous BBQ championships, is a 2013 BBQ Hall of Fame inductee, and serves as the host of “BBQ Pitmasters” on Destination America, a cable show now in its sixth season with over 750,000 viewers per episode. Mr. Mixon is also the author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook, “Smokin’ with Myron Mixon.
“Old Hickory’s relationship with Myron Mixon and his growing national notoriety will accelerate consumer acceptance of the Old Hickory ‘competition quality’ products,” said Mr. Wolf. “Add the partnership with NEP, and Old Hickory has the opportunity to dominate this marketplace.”
Old Hickory operates its business out of an 85,000 square foot facility located south of Nashville in Lewisburg, TN (www.oldhickorysmokehouse.com).
Norwest Equity Partners is a middle-market private equity firm. The firm makes equity investments of $30 million to $150 million in companies operating in the agriculture, applied technology, business services, consumer products and services, distribution, diversified industrials, and healthcare sectors. The firm manages $5 billion of capital through a series of equity and mezzanine limited partnerships and is currently investing NEP IX with $1.2 billion in capital. Norwest Equity Partners is headquartered in Minneapolis (www.nep.com).
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-26-15