Butterfly Equity has acquired Pete and Gerry’s Organics, a producer of free-range and pasture-raised eggs.
Pete and Gerry’s dates to the late 1800’s when it operated as a dairy cattle and hen farm founded by the Ward family. Two generations later, Carol Ward, Gerry Laflamme, and Peter Stanton created the Pete and Gerry’s brand to sell its free-range, organic eggs directly to consumers.
In 2003, Pete and Gerry’s became the first Certified Humane egg farm in the country and today its eggs continue to be produced without antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, GMOs, or animal by-products. Pete and Gerry’s products – sold under the Pete and Gerry’s Organic, Nellie’s Free Range and Consider Pastures brands – are produced by more than 130 small family farms across the United States.
Pete and Gerry’s, led by CEO Jesse Laflamme since May 2000, is headquartered in Monroe, New Hampshire and operates a second processing facility in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Mr. Laflamme is retaining an ownership position in the company in partnership with Butterfly and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, which becomes a new minority investor in the business.
“After growing a family business over several decades, Pete and Gerry’s has achieved a position in the market where we are poised to accelerate growth,” said Mr. Laflamme. “The choice to bring Butterfly into our family business required careful consideration of the alignment of values, mission, and the intention to build and grow. After meeting with the Butterfly team, it was obvious they were the most ideal partner for our business and for all our stakeholders, from family farmers to our customers and consumers.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Jesse and the Pete and Gerry’s team to help them bring healthy, delicious and humanely raised eggs to even more homes across the country,” said Adam Waglay, a co-founder and co-CEO of Butterfly. “We believe the company’s future is incredibly bright as the market leader in the premium egg category.”
Butterfly is an active investor in the agriculture, aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution and foodservice sectors. The firm was founded in 2016 by Mr. Waglay and Dustin Beck and is headquartered in Beverly Hills.
“Pete and Gerry’s is a forward-thinking, mission-driven company that provides a better egg to consumers, a better life for hens and a better model for America’s small family farmers,” said Mr. Beck. “Butterfly is absolutely aligned with their mission and looks forward to supporting the team to continue these efforts.”
British Columbia Investment Management (BCI) is one of Canada’s largest institutional investors and manages numerous British Columbia’s public sector pension plans, insurance, and special purpose funds. BCI has more than C$170 billion of assets under management with more than C$7 billion dedicated to its private equity strategy led by executive vice president Jim Pittman. BCI is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia.
Lazard Middle Market was the financial advisor to Pete and Gerry’s on this transaction.
© 2021 Private Equity Professional | May 6, 2021