Paine & Partners – a big investor in food and agribusiness – has completed the sale of Sunrise Growers to publicly traded SunOpta for approximately $444 million. Paine & Partners acquired Sunrise, a processor of conventional and organic frozen fruit, in March 2013 from Sun Capital Partners.
Sunrise Growers sells its frozen fruit products in a variety of packaging formats to retail private label and foodservice customers. Sunrise’s sources its products globally which allows for consistent year-round access to its fruit. The company has processing facilities in Santa Maria, CA; two facilities in Oxnard, CA; one in Kansas City, KS; one in Jacona, Mexico (Opus Foods), and another processing plant in San Carlos, Costa Rica. The company is headquartered near Anaheim in Placentia, CA with approximately 300 full-time and 2,000 seasonal employees. Sunrise was founded in 1977 and is led by its President and CEO Edward Haft (www.sunrisegrowers.com).
During its term of ownership Paine & Partners completed three acquisitions and made additional investments in the company. As a result, Sunrise Growers recorded growth in both revenue and EBITDA and expanded and diversified its supply chain, customer base and its processing and distribution capability.
“We are pleased to announce the completion of this transaction, representing the culmination of our strategic investment in Sunrise,” said Kevin Schwartz, President and a founding Partner of Paine & Partners. “Since our acquisition of Sunrise, we have worked closely with the management team to significantly grow the business through strategic acquisitions and growth capital investments, positioning Sunrise to capitalize on the tremendous opportunity in the private label frozen fruit category. With the transaction completed, we are confident that Sunrise will continue to thrive under the leadership of SunOpta.”
Paine & Partners provides equity capital for management buyouts, going private transactions, and company expansion and growth programs, for companies operating in the food and agribusiness industries. The firm currently invests through its $893 million Paine & Partners Fund IV, which is solely dedicated to agribusiness investing. Paine & Partners was founded in 2006 and has offices in New York, Chicago and San Mateo, CA (www.painepartners.com).
SunOpta (NSDQ:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is a global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods. The company specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on vertically integrated business models. The company also holds an approximate 66% ownership position in Opta Minerals (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of industrial minerals and silica-free abrasives. SunOpta is headquartered near Toronto in Brampton, ON and has its US headquarters is in Edina, MN (www.sunopta.com).
SunOpta financed the acquisition of Sunrise Growers through proceeds from an offering of $100 million of common shares, a $330 million second lien loan which closed as the same time as the acquisition of Sunrise Growers, plus borrowings under its existing credit facilities.
“We had a great partnership with Paine & Partners that resulted in significantly strengthening our business and expanding our frozen fruit platform,” said Sunrise CEO Edward Haft. “We benefited from their support, focus on strategic growth initiatives and expertise across the food and agribusiness value chain.”
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-12-15