Riverside Building Flavors Platform

National Flavors, a portfolio company of The Riverside Company, has acquired GSB & Associates. The buy of GSB is the first add-on for National Flavors since being acquired by Riverside in March 2020.

GSB specializes in custom flavors used in the food, beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), baking, confectionery, nutraceutical, and aromatherapy markets. The company’s flavor products – available in liquid and powdered form – is expansive and includes mesquite smoke, watermelon, coconut, lime, peppermint, cherry, marshmallow, and tiramisu, among many others. GSB is led by President Corinne Baskin and is headquartered near Atlanta in Kennesaw, Georgia.

National Flavors is a developer and supplier of custom and stock flavors used in the beverages, frozen desserts, baked goods, confections, and processed fruits sectors. The company has specific flavor expertise in fruits (such as apple, blackberry and banana), citrus (lemon, lime, and orange), nut (almond, hazelnut, and peanut), mint (peppermint and spearmint), and sweet brown (butterscotch, chocolate, and vanilla).

National Flavors has more than 300 stock flavors, can develop custom flavors within a five-day time frame, and provides on-demand pricing and documentation with samples shipped within 24 hours. The company, led by CEO Brian Briggs, was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“National Flavors and GSB share a common vision, culture and customer-centric approach. We believe this acquisition will allow us to deliver superior flavor solutions and a customer experience that will allow both National Flavors and GSB customers to achieve their business goals,” said Mr. Briggs.  “We are proud to be a part of the fantastic foundation that the GSB team has built.”

“Combining National Flavors and GSB will broaden both companies’ product portfolios, providing customers with access to additional flavor development capabilities,” said Loren Schlachet, a managing partner at Riverside. “During our hold period, we want to become small- and mid-sized food and beverage companies’ number one choice for flavor development and production. Our platform’s commitment to quality, customer service and innovative development creates a strong foundation from which to continue building.”

Riverside is seeking additional add-on acquisitions for National Flavors and works with its Flavor & Specialty Ingredient Advisory Board – comprised of nine flavor industry experts – to identify opportunities to acquire mid-sized and smaller flavor companies, provide advice and guidance to Riverside’s flavor platform, and to evaluate trends in the overall flavor industry.

“The Flavor & Specialty Ingredient Advisory Board has been a great strategic partner,” said Alan Peyrat, a partner at Riverside. “Having access to such an experienced bench of industry experts has been, and will continue to be, extremely valuable as we continue executing an aggressive inorganic growth strategy to build out the platform further and invest in businesses with differentiated product portfolios, unique R&D capabilities and diverse end-market expertise.”

Working with Mr. Schlachet and Mr. Peyrat on this transaction were Senior Associate Liz Burke, Associate David Myers, Analyst Erin Reger, Operating Partner Brad Mundt and Finance Director Doug Guess. Director of Research Matthew Delly sourced the deal for Riverside.

The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on investing in and acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 650 transactions and its portfolio includes more than 100 companies. The firm is headquartered in New York City.

Private Equity Professional | July 30, 2020

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