Trinity Hunt Partners has sold its portfolio company C.J. Foods, a specialty manufacturer of super-premium dog and cat food, to J.H. Whitney Capital Partners. Trinity Hunt acquired C.J. Foods in partnership with the company’s management in 2009.
C.J. Foods is a custom manufacturer of super-premium dry pet foods for dogs, cats, and other household pets. The company offers services that include product consulting and development, materials management, customized production and packaging, quality control, and managed inventory. C.J. Foods was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Bern, KS (www.extrudedpetfood.com).
During the course of its ownership, Trinity Hunt Partners (THP) funded a $20 million plant expansion and numerous capital improvement projects, which resulted in a doubling of C.J. Foods’ capacity. Additionally, the firm implemented a management stock option program and a new employee safety program. By the end of 2011, the company was posting record revenues and profits, with the increased capacity already spoken for by existing and new customers – ensuring continued growth in the future. During THP’s ownership, C.J. Foods doubled its EBITDA and tripled its enterprise value.
“In Trinity Hunt, we found a true partner, one that shared our values, promoted the interests of our employees, and encouraged our uncompromising commitment to quality,” said Tod Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of C.J. Foods. “We would not be where we are today without Trinity Hunt’s strategic guidance and their investment in time and capital over the past four years. Trinity Hunt was critical to our success.”
“C.J. Foods has built its reputation on unwavering food quality and safety and has a long-tenured history with some of the fastest growing premium pet food brands in the country,” said Will Bixby, a THP Partner. “I believe that Tod Morgan and his management team are the best co-pack operators in the premium pet food industry, and I have full confidence in their ability to continue the company’s strong growth well into the future.”
Trinity Hunt typically invests in established companies that have EBITDAs between $3 million and $15 million and that are valued between $10 million to $150 million. The firm considers investment opportunities across a range of industries, including industrial products and services, business services and healthcare services. Trinity Hunt is based in Dallas, TX (www.trinityhunt.com).
Trinity Hunt Partners was advised by Harris Williams & Co.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 6-5-14