Swander Pace Exits Applegate
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Swander Pace Exits Applegate

applegate nf1Swander Pace Capital has sold its minority investment in Applegate, a natural and organic meat company, to Hormel Foods. The transaction, including the ownership interest of Applegate founder Stephen McDonnell, is valued at $775 million.  Swander Pace first invested in Applegate in April 2009.

andrew richards nf1“We have enjoyed working with Stephen and the rest of his team to grow Applegate into the leader in the natural and organic meat industry,” said Andrew Richards, a Managing Director at Swander Pace. “Over nearly three decades, Applegate has been changing the food industry and providing quality products to meet the changing preferences of consumers who value transparency and natural ingredients.”

Applegate sells more than 140 natural and organic meat products including deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausages, frozen breaded chicken and pre-packed lunch kits. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered outside of New York in Bridgewater, NJ (www.applegate.com).

“Swander Pace has been a valued partner over the last six years and instrumental in providing guidance and support to grow our brand and expand distribution channels all while maintaining our commitment to our mission and values,” said Mr. McDonnell. “Applegate’s leadership in the natural and organic food movement and mission to the change the meat we eat will continue with our partnership with Hormel.”

Rob DesMarais nf1“We have been honored to support Applegate in its efforts to change the meat industry,” said Rob DesMarais, a Managing Director at Swander Pace. “This transaction represents another successful execution of our consumer products investment strategy to attract and partner with world class teams, implement effective marketing strategies, optimize productivity, and drive success in a growing industry.”

Swander Pace Capital (SPC) invests in middle-market consumer products companies including branded and non-branded manufacturers, marketers, and distributors that sell through a range of retail and institutional channels. The firm generally targets companies that have up to $400 million in revenues.  SPC has raised over $1.3 billion of equity capital through five private equity funds and has led investments in more than 40 consumer products companies.  SPC was founded in 1996 and has offices in San Francisco; Bedminster, NJ; and near Toronto in Oakville, ON (www.spcap.com).

2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 5-27-15

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