MidOcean Partners has acquired Casper’s Ice Cream, a manufacturer and supplier of branded and co-packed frozen novelty products.
Casper’s products, sold under the FatBoy, Jolly Llama and ChurnBaby brands through the grocery and mass retail channels, include ice cream sandwiches, cones, bars, sticks, and cups.
Casper’s – headquartered north of Logan in Richmond, Utah – was founded in 1925 by Casper Merrill and today is led by President Paul Merrill, CEO Kyle Smith, and EVPs Keith Lawes and Shane Petersen.
“Having grown up in this business, I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, Casper Merrill, in pursuing the next phase of growth for Casper’s with a talented new partner in MidOcean and with the management team led by Kyle, Keith and Shane all of whom helped drive us to this point,” said Mr. Merrill. “This transaction secures FatBoy’s position as a national brand leader in novelty ice cream. I could not be more excited to see where the FatBoy brand can go with additional resources and talented people at the table.”
“MidOcean has been evaluating opportunities in the branded food category for a number of years, with a specific focus on the highly attractive frozen novelty category,” said Daniel Penn, a managing director at MidOcean. “We are thrilled to partner with Casper’s exceptional management team for the company’s next phase of growth.”
Post-closing, Steve Spinner, a MidOcean operating partner, will serve as chairman of Casper’s board of directors. Mr. Spinner joined MidOcean in October 2021 and most recently, from 2008 to 2021, he was the chairman and chief executive officer of United Natural Foods (NYSE: UNFI), a Rhode Island-based wholesale distributor of health and specialty food products.
“I’m excited to partner with the Casper’s management team and look forward to driving growth and building on the momentum of FatBoy and the entire portfolio of brands,” said Mr. Spinner. “Casper’s offers a wide variety of delicious products for its customers with numerous avenues for continued growth via expanding into new geographies, channels and product lines. We look forward to executing this strategic plan by working closely with the Casper’s team.”
The buy of Casper’s is MidOcean’s second investment in the branded food sector over the past six months and follows the buy of Louisiana Fish Fry, a Baton Rouge-headquartered manufacturer and supplier of branded, Louisiana-inspired food products, from Peak Rock Capital in July 2021.
MidOcean invests in middle-market companies that are active in the business and consumer services sectors. In September 2018, the firm held a final close of its latest fund, MidOcean Partners V LP, at its hard cap of $1.2 billion in limited partner commitments. The new fund was oversubscribed and closed above its original $1 billion target. MidOcean was founded in 2003 and is based in New York City.
MidCap Financial was the Administrative Agent and Sole Lead Arranger for a senior secured credit facility that supported MidOcean’s buy of Casper’s Ice Cream. MidCap’s transaction team was led by Managing Director Grace Wang. MidCap Financial, in alliance with its investment manager Apollo Capital Management, is a middle-market focused finance firm that provides debt instruments of $10 million to $750 million to companies across all industries.
Raymond James was the financial advisor to Casper’s on this transaction.
© 2022 Private Equity Professional | January 6, 2022