Falfurrias Stays Hot with Buy of Salsa Maker
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Falfurrias Stays Hot with Buy of Salsa Maker

The buy of Mateo’s takes Sauer Brands into the salsa sector and is the second add-on under Falfurrias ownership

Mateo’s all-natural products include shelf-stable salsa, beverage mixes and enchilada sauces

SOURCE: Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa

Sauer Brands, a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners, has acquired Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa.

Mateo’s all-natural line of shelf-stable salsa products – available in mild, medium and hot formats – are sold across the country through Costco, Walmart, Target, Publix, Kroger, and other major retailers. Additional products of the company include beverage mixes (Bloody Mary and Margarita) and enchilada sauces.

Mateo’s was founded in 2010 by Andrew Robbins and is headquartered near Dallas in Frisco, Texas. According to the company, Mateo’s recorded strong sales growth in 2020 that far exceeded industry averages and is one of the largest independent, shelf-stable salsa brands in the United States.

Sauer Brands was formed by Falfurrias in August 2019, to acquire the food business assets of The C.F. Sauer Company, a producer of branded and private label condiments, spices, seasonings and extracts. Sauer’s company-owned brands include Duke’s Mayonnaise, The Spice Hunter, Sauer’s, Gold Medal, BAMA Mayonnaise, and Kernel Season’s.

Sauer Brands was founded as The C.F. Sauer Company in 1887 and today has manufacturing facilities in Richmond, Virginia (headquarters); Mauldin, South Carolina; New Century, Kansas; and San Luis Obispo, California.

“We are incredibly excited to add Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa to our growing family of highly differentiated, and inspired flavors,” said Martin Kelly, the CEO of Sauer Brands. “There are many synergies across our product lines, and we see significant growth potential in the salsa category, so it’s a great fit for our organization.”

The buy of Mateo’s takes Sauer Brands into the salsa sector and is the second add-on acquisition for the company under Falfurrias ownership following the acquisition of popcorn seasoning brand Kernel Season’s (Chicago Custom Foods) from Highlander Partners in May 2020.

“We have a tremendous packaged foods platform in Sauer Brands, and from the early days of our investment, our world-class leadership team, led by Martin Kelly, identified salsa as the most attractive category for future expansion,” said Chip Johnson, a partner at Falfurrias. “In Mateo’s, we’ve found the perfect addition to our portfolio – another high-growth, iconic brand that consumers adore.”

Falfurrias, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, was founded in 2006 by Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Marc Oken, former CFO of Bank of America, and Managing Partner Ed McMahan. In September, Falfurrias closed its oversubscribed fifth fund, Falfurrias Capital Partners V LP, with $850 million of capital.

Falfurrias is an active investor in the food sector. Just last week, Falfurrias closed the first platform acquisition for its fifth fund with the buy of Rice’s Honey from Mission Consumer Capital. Rice’s Honey (DBA Local Hive) contracts with local beekeepers – from various states and regions throughout the United States – and markets 23 raw and unfiltered honey varietals. In April 2021, Falfurrias acquired Carolina Foods, a North Carolina-based baker of honey buns, donuts, pies and pastries.

Falfurrias makes equity investments in growth-oriented middle-market companies that have EBITDA from $5 million to $40 million. The firm invests across a range of sectors and through its “Industry First” investment strategy is currently seeking investments in packaged foods; private equity-related software and services; fraud and credit risk analytics; finance-related technology-enabled services; marketing, media, and information services; and electric utility supply chains. Numerous other sectors of interest are currently being evaluated by Falfurrias.

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) was the financial advisor to Mateo’s on this transaction. The BGL transaction team was led by Managing Director Daniel Gomez who is a senior member of BGL’s consumer team and the leader of its food and beverage practice.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | October 5, 2021

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