Olympus Completes Consolidation, Sells Foodware to CFS Brands

Olympus Completes Consolidation, Sells Foodware to CFS Brands

During it 7.5-year ownership term, Olympus more than tripled the EBITDA of The Foodware Group

The Foodware Group is a manufacturer and supplier of front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house products to the foodservice industry with over 5,000 products across 25 categories.

SOURCE: Getty Images

Olympus Partners has sold The Foodware Group to CFS Brands, a portfolio company of TJC since March 2018.

The Foodware Group is a manufacturer and supplier of front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house products to the foodservice industry with over 5,000 products across 25 categories.

Source: The Foodware Group

Olympus first invested in The Foodware Group (TFG) through the 2016 acquisition, through its sixth fund, of G.E.T. Enterprises, a Houston-based provider of servingware and drinkware used in the foodservice industry. In December 2017, TFG acquired Winco, a New Jersey-based manufacturer and importer of kitchenware and tableware.

Additional acquisitions include Bar Maid Corporation, a Florida-based provider of glass polishers, cutlery polishers, fruit-fly management tools and keg transport equipment (July 2023); Cheforward, a Texas-based manufacturer of foodservice dinnerware, displayware and tabletop accessories (June 2021); Benchmark USA, a South Carolina-based maker of popcorn, hot dog, nacho, and snow cone machines, food warmers, and related supplies (October 2020); and Strata Buffetware, a provider of griddles, warming, and cooling kits (August 2019).

Today, The Foodware Group has approximately 450 employees and is headquartered in Lodi, New Jersey. The company operates more than 800,000 square feet of warehouse space in four warehouses in New Jersey, Florida, Texas, and Nevada.

According to Olympus, since its initial investment in The Foodware Group, EBITDA has more than tripled, The company has opened new facilities across North America, and expanded its product lines to become one of the largest suppliers to the food service industry.

“Olympus has been a strong partner since I joined the company almost five years ago,” said Jim White, the CEO of The Foodware Group. “They have been a hands-on supportive ally in our organic and acquisition growth strategy.”

“It has been a tremendous pleasure working with the entire Foodware Group family,” said Mike Horgan, a partner at Olympus. “The success of our investment was driven by our talented management team and the hard work of all the members of The Foodware Group team during an unprecedented period in the food service industry. I look forward to seeing this business continue to thrive in the years ahead.”

CFS Brands, the buyer of The Foodware Group, is a manufacturer of products for the foodservice, healthcare, and janitorial industries including permanent-ware supplies, table coverings, cookware, display-ware, storage containers, catering and transport equipment and meal delivery systems. The company’s brands include Carlisle FoodService Products, Dinex, Sparta, El Castor, Jofel, Marko, Piper, San Jamar, Snap Drape, WipesPlus, AyrKing, and Elite Global Solutions.

Since being acquired by TJC in March 2018, CFS has closed six add-on acquisitions including Elite Global Solutions, a California-based provider of melamine dinnerware, displayware, and serving products (November 2022); AyrKing, a Kentucky-based maker of food preparation equipment and related accessories (January 2021); Jofel Industrial, a Spain-based a maker and distributor of hygiene and cleaning systems and equipment (July 2020); Cepillos El Castor, a Mexico-based manufacturer of cleaning brushes and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) compliant color-coded products (August 2019); Piper Products, a Wisconsin-based maker of  aluminum and stainless steel food transport equipment, cafeteria and buffet serving systems, and hot and cold food merchandisers (April 2019); and Dr. John’s Labs, a Wyoming-based provider of foodservice utensil cleaning and sanitizing systems (December 2018).

Today, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-headquartered CFS Brands has more than 1,600 employees and operates six manufacturing facilities and seven distribution centers.

“The acquisition of The Foodware Group is a transformational opportunity for CFS Brands,” said Trent Freiberg, the CEO of CFS Brands. “The Foodware Group joins a portfolio of businesses and brands that are leaders in their respective markets. CFS Brands and TFG are a great fit, and together we will build on our combined strengths and shared values to continue our track record of sustainable growth and exceptional results. We are excited to work with the leadership team at The Foodware Group, and we welcome all TFG employees to CFS Brands.”

TJC (formerly The Jordan Company) is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in a range of industries including industrials, transportation and logistics, healthcare, consumer, telecom, technology, and utilities. The firm was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in New York City with additional offices in Chicago and Stamford.

Olympus invests in a range of industries but has a specific interest in business services, consumer products, healthcare services, financial services, industrial services, and manufacturing. The firm was founded in 1988 and is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

The Olympus transaction team included Mr. Horgan, Manu Bettegowda, Sam Greenberg, Rabela Bodini and Matt Bujor.

Guggenheim Securities is the financial advisor to CFS Brands and Houlihan Lokey is the financial advisor to The Foodware Group.

© 2023 Private Equity Professional | October 6, 2023

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