Paine Schwartz Exits FoodChain ID
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Paine Schwartz Exits FoodChain ID

Paine Schwartz Partners has sold FoodChain ID, a provider of food safety and testing services, to Berkshire Partners.

FoodChain ID provides its more than 30,000 food, feed, and agricultural customers with food safety and food quality testing and accreditation services including non-GMO project verification, non-GMO ingredient supply chain compliance, and research and development formulation consulting.

FoodChain ID maintains a proprietary database of more than 100,000 products and ingredients, more than 100,000 regulatory references across 218 countries, and 2.5 million pages of regulatory notifications, scientific opinions and product recalls. The company was founded in 1996 as Genetic ID, then a pioneer of the GMO food identification industry, and serves more than 30,000 clients in over 100 countries. The company is headquartered in Fairfield, Iowa with additional offices in Belgium, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Serbia, Thailand, and the UK.

During its ownership term, Paine Schwartz added to the firm’s senior management team and closed six add-on acquisitions that tripled the company’s revenues.

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with the Paine Schwartz team to elevate FoodChain ID and meet the growing demand for food safety services,” said Brad Riemenapp, the CEO of FoodChain ID. “Under Paine Schwartz’s ownership, we transformed the business into a global suite of services extending across supply chain compliance, regulatory compliance, risk assessment and predictive analytics. All of this is now underpinned by an amalgamation of customer data that forms a rich ecosystem of supply chain details.”

Paine Schwartz acquired FoodChain ID – then The Global ID Group – through its fourth fund in October 2016 from Inverness Graham.

“We are pleased to complete this sale of FoodChain ID,” said Kevin Schwartz, the CEO of Paine Schwartz. “During our ownership of the company, we worked closely with the management team to grow and transform the business, including through key acquisitions and substantial investments across the platform. We are confident that FoodChain ID will continue to thrive with Berkshire Partners. We wish Brad and the team the best as they move forward.”

Boston-based Berkshire Partners makes majority or minority equity investments of $50 million to $500 million in companies with enterprise values from $200 million to $2 billion. Typical targets will have revenues of more than $100 million and EBITDA greater than $25 million. Berkshire focuses primarily on North American companies however it will pursue select international opportunities as well. Sectors of interest include consumer, business services and technology, industrials, communications, and healthcare.

“FoodChain ID plays a critical role in the food economy, helping its customers manage complex supply chains and regulatory requirements so that consumers around the world can have confidence about the quality and safety of the food they eat every day,” said Blake Gottesman, a managing director of Berkshire Partners. “We’re thrilled to partner with Brad and his team to drive the next phase of FoodChain ID’s growth, including through strategic acquisitions.”

Berkshire is currently investing from Berkshire Fund IX LP, a $5.5 billion fund raised in 2016. In August 2020, the firm launched fundraising for Berkshire Fund X LP with a target of $6.5 billion.

Paine Schwartz Partners (previously Paine & Partners) provides equity for management buyouts, going-private transactions, and company expansion and growth programs. Sectors of interest include the food and agribusiness industries. The firm was founded in 2006 by Dexter Paine and Kevin Schwartz and has offices in New York City and San Mateo, California.

Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to FoodChain ID and Morrison & Foerster provided legal services.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | December 11, 2020

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