Blue Sage Capital has acquired Clearly Clean Products in partnership with Insight Equity.
Clearly Clean is a manufacturer of environmentally-friendly and recyclable food packaging trays – used for poultry, meat, produce, seafood, and other food products – made from 100% recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The company’s customers include grocers, food processors, and packaging distributors.
According to Clearly Clean, its patented “rolled edge” thermoforming and manufacturing process allows for greater recyclability and durability relative to competitive packaging products.
Traditionally, food packaging trays have been made using expanded polystyrene (EPS). Products made from EPS are lightweight and have good thermal insulation properties, but the material is not as durable as PET. Also, PET is more readily recyclable than EPS, and it has a well-established recycling infrastructure in many countries. EPS, on the other hand, is not as easily recyclable, and it is often not accepted by curbside recycling programs. As a result, some countries and cities have banned or restricted the use of EPS for food packaging.
Clearly Clean, led by President Jeff Maguire, was founded in 2007 and is headquartered 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. “We are excited to partner with Blue Sage and Insight as we continue to invest in sales and marketing resources, expand our manufacturing capabilities, and extend our product line with innovative, sustainable packaging solutions that our customers desire,” said Mr. Maguire.
“We could not be more excited to partner with Jeff Maguire, Mill Wallace, and Peter Kolb at Clearly Clean as well as the Insight team, including Jeff Parent and TJ Stone, to support the company in the next stage of its evolution,” said Jonathan Pearce, a partner at Blue Sage. “We are impressed with Clearly Clean’s disruptive history, compelling value proposition, and exciting opportunities for future growth. The company stands out in its commitment to high-quality service and responsiveness in managing its customers’ sustainable packaging needs.”
Austin, Texas-based Blue Sage specializes in partnering with founders, families, and management teams as the first round of institutional capital for businesses in the niche manufacturing, environmental solutions, or specialty services industries. The firm typically invests from $20 million to $40 million in control buyout investments and recapitalizations of companies with $4 million to $15 million in EBITDA and $20 million to $200 million in revenue.
“Clearly Clean has become a leader in the rapidly growing sustainable food tray market through its innovative ‘rolled edge’ manufacturing process, operational expertise, reliably consistent product quality, and customer service,” said Jeff Parent, a principal at Insight. “We are thrilled about this new partnership and are eager to execute our joint strategy for growth.”
Insight Equity invests from $25 million to $100 million of equity in North American-headquartered businesses with $50 million to $1 billion in revenue. Sectors of interest include manufacturing, automotive and transportation, aerospace and government, industrial and consumer goods, distribution, energy services, service and professional industries. The firm is headquartered near Dallas in Southlake, Texas, with an additional office in New York City.
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