LaSalle Capital has partnered with Lightspring Capital to acquire Great Lakes Potato Chips.
Great Lakes Potato Chips is a maker of kettle-cooked potato chips that are sold to foodservice distributors, grocery stores, club stores, and direct to consumers through the company’s website. The company is headquartered in the northern Michigan city of Traverse City. Great Lakes Potato Chips was founded in 2009 by Ed Girrbach and his son Chris Girrbach.
Unlike regular chips, which are usually fried in oil, kettle-cooked chips are made by slowly cooking potatoes in a large metal container or “kettle” over an open flame. In addition to different flavor characteristics, kettle-cooked potato chips have several health benefits. As they are not deep fried in oil, they contain significantly fewer calories than regular fried chips. They are also usually lower in sodium content and higher in fiber, making them a healthier option than other types of snacks.
“Ed and Chris built a preeminent reputation around manufacturing the highest quality kettle-cooked chips with bold flavor profiles,” said Andrew Dzwonchyk, a partner at LaSalle Capital. “We are delighted to assist the company in achieving its next level of growth.”
“We were very fortunate to have significant interest in our business from potential investors, and we couldn’t be happier to have chosen LaSalle and Lightspring as our partners,” said Chris Girrbach, who will remain as the chief executive officer of the business. “Their relevant experience in the food sector and Midwestern roots made them the logical choice as we enter the next chapter of growth for our company.”
“We could not be more excited to be partnering with Chris and the entire Great Lakes team,” said David Murav, a partner at LaSalle Capital. “They have developed a great tasting product and incredible brand, and we look forward to accelerating growth to new states and accounts so that more consumers have access to these fantastic chips.”
Greenwich Capital Group was the financial advisor to Great Lakes Potato Chips on this transaction.
“The shareholders’ objectives were front of mind throughout the entire process. We focused on finding a strategic partner that would see the intrinsic value the Girrbach family has built in Great Lakes over the last 11 years,” said Andrew Dickow, a managing director at Greenwich. “In addition, we prioritized finding a partner that could bring additional resources and allow for a seamless transition for all of its suppliers, employees, and customers, which ultimately made LaSalle Capital the ideal partner.”
Chicago-based LaSalle Capital makes control investments of $10 million to $20 million in food and beverage companies with revenues from $20 million to $100 million and EBITDA from $3 million to $15 million.
Lightspring invests in US-based businesses that have revenues between $10 million and $75 million and EBITDA between $2 million and $8 million. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, value-added distribution, business services, consumer products, and transportation and logistics. The firm has offices in Chicago and Minneapolis.
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