AUA Private Equity Partners has recapitalized its portfolio company Associated Foods and has distributed in excess of 30% of invested capital back to its investors within 10 months of the firm’s original investment. AUA Equity acquired Associated Foods in December 2012, partnering with the existing owners, Harry Laufer and Ira Gober.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to recapitalize Associated in the short time that we have owned the company with Harry Laufer and Ira Gober. Associated still has a modest amount of leverage on the business which is a hallmark of AUA Equity’s investment approach. We are pleased to be able to return to our investors over 30% of their original investment and simultaneously increase our ownership of the company,” said Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Equity.
Associated is a specialty distributor of grocery products to branded independent (predominately Hispanic owned) retail supermarkets in the New York metropolitan area. Associated provides grocery distribution, financing, marketing and promotional services to approximately 270 independently owned and operated grocery stores, which typically carry the “Associated” or “Compare” trade name. The company was founded in 1954 and is based in Hewlett, NY (www.associatedsupermarkets.com).
Since AUA’s investment in December 2012, Associated Foods has added new stores to its network and created a distribution partnership with United Natural Foods, a national distributor of natural, organic, specialty foods and related products.
“We continue to be impressed with the AUA Equity team and know that we have made the right decision in partnering with them. AUA has developed a number of new business initiatives for Associated and has been successful in prudently financing our business,” said Harry Laufer.
AUA Private Equity Partners makes equity investments in companies in the consumer, media and business services sectors with a particular focus on Hispanic-oriented companies and family-owned businesses located in the United States. The firm invests from $10 million to $30 million of equity in companies that generate at least $3 million of EBITDA. The firm is based in New York (www.auaequity.com).
“This recapitalization makes sense for the company and allows us to expand our financing for our customers. The company is well positioned to expand with new stores; develop new markets; and increase our financing capacity to lend to our independent owners. We are pleased to be in partnership with AUA Equity to help us grow our business and identify new revenue streams,” said Ira Gober.
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-8-13