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Private Equity Investing in Food & Nutrition Companies

March 28, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Profiting from Disruption
And “Big Food’s” Divestiture Blitz

Private Equity Investing in Food & Nutrition Companies


As consumers continue to ditch processed foods for healthier options, middle-market private equity firms are uniquely positioned to help smaller brands grow outside the “Big Food” tent.

Here are a couple of examples —

  • Riverside Company’s investment in premium cookie maker Tate’s Bake Shop
  • TA Associates’ investment in ready-to-eat popcorn seller SkinnyPop and its subsequent expansion to better-for-you snack marketer Amplify Snack Brands
  • Swander Pace’s investment in fresh and frozen Asian-flavored appetizer provider Fine Choice Foods

In addition, the divestiture blitz launched by “Big Food” companies in recent months has created a host of carve-out opportunities for private equity investors to give divested businesses the attention and positioning to succeed in the evolving food sector.

Examples include —

  • Tyson Foods’ sale of pizza crust maker TNT Crust to Peak Rock Capital.
  • J.M. Smucker’s spinout of its baking brand portfolio to Brynwood Partners, including the iconic Pillsbury business.

The “Big Food” giants are intensifying competition in middle-market territory. Take for example Kraft Heinz Co.’s recent $200 million deal to acquire Primal Kitchen, a branded food products company catering to healthy and paleo diets. Fierce competition like this is keeping valuations high, raising the stakes for deal execution.

At the same time, Amazon’s push into the food and nutrition market changes the distribution calculus for middle-market and emerging brands. E-commerce and online marketing expertise are more important than ever.

Add that to the growing need for food safety expertise at portfolio companies amid recent outbreaks of E. coli and listeria, and the challenge of maintaining a highly specialized workforce.

Chaired by

Elizabeth Williamson, Principal, Frontenac Company

Elizabeth C. Williamson

Frontenac Company 


Thursday, March 28

8:00am – 5:00pm


Midtown Manhattan, NY


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Register now to join 20+ experts in discussing the outlook for food and nutrition investment opportunities at The Capital Roundtable’s conference on Private Equity Investing in Food & Nutrition Companies. The conference will be held in New York City on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

Key Reasons to Attend

Three Key Reasons Why You Should Join Us

1. Discuss tactics for understanding and better managing portfolio company strategy and product offering.

2. Learn tactics that PE firms can use to help their portfolio companies recruit and retain the expert staff they need.

3.Hear how brands are regaining consumer trust and loyalty amid private label growth.

Key Points Being Covered
  • In this late-cycle market, how should the possibility of a correction or recession factor into your investment selection and due diligence?
  • What segments of the food and nutrition industries are primed for M&A this year, and where can private equity find the best values?
  • How can “Big Food’s” activities benefit — and threaten–middle-market PE investors, from acquisition and exit opportunities to competition on middle-market turf?
  • Where are the best growth opportunities among better-for-you categories such as healthy and organic foods, vegetarian and vegan foods, options for special diets, and ingredients?
  • Where are private label trends headed, and how can PE firms benefit?
  • What are the best ways to play deal structures such as carve-outs, growth investments, buyouts of family-owned businesses, and turnarounds of underperforming brands in this market?
  • How can PE firms develop food safety strategies for their investments, from due diligence to portfolio company management?
  • How will trade policy changes such as tariffs affect the industry, and how will the resulting commodity price fluctuations travel across the value chain?
  • What regulatory uncertainties are likely to impact food and nutrition companies?
  • What are the key concerns that investors should consider during due diligence?
  • How is activist investors’ surge of interest in large food companies affecting the industry?
  • How are the actions and strategies of large food companies impacting middle market players?
Recent Deals

Recent Middle-Market PE Food & Nutrition Deals

  • Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group agreed to purchase Hearthside Food Solutions, an independent bakery, in a partnership with management.
  • MidOcean Partners purchased Florida Food Products, a manufacturer of health-centric ingredients and clean-label cures.
  • Peak Rock Capital acquired Baton Rouge-based food product producer Louisiana Fish Fry Products Ltd.
  • Rotunda Capital Partners’ portfolio company IF&P Foods acquired packaged convenience foods maker Cibus Fresh.
  • Union Capital bought convenience food producer Albie’s Foods Inc.
  • San Francisco Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in gluten-free Brazilian-style cheese bread snack maker Brazi Bites.
  • Kainos Capital purchased the frozen soups business of NORPAC Foods Inc.
  • Spell Capital acquired candymaker Pearson’s Candy Co.
Chairperson Info

Betsy Williamson is a principal at Frontenac Company, a Chicago-based middle-market private equity firm. She focuses on investments in the food, consumer, and business services industries.

She is a director at Schlotterbeck & Foss and Spice Chain Corp. Her prior investments and director posts include Mercer Foods.

Previously, she was an associate at Thomas H. Lee Partners. She also served as an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers.

She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Who We Are

This Capital Roundtable conference in midtown, New York City, is all-business, all-targeted, all-designed to be a completely focused day of practical information and revealing insights about education companies. You’ll gain valuable insights from —

  • Three informative panel discussions
  • Two revealing keynote presentations
  • Real-world perspectives from education company investors
  • Industry outlooks from noted sector experts
  • War stories and lessons learned from experienced hands

Chaired by
  • Elizabeth C. Williamson, Frontenac Company
Hosted by
  • Burt AlimanskyChairman & CEO, The Capital Roundtable
  • Christopher S. Allen, Principal, Palladium Equity Partners LLC
  • Elizabeth A. Browne, V.P. & Head–Business Development, DNS Capital LLC
  • Bob Dekker, Managing Director, Balmoral Advisors LLC
  • Ramsey W. Goodrich, Managing Partner, Carter Morse & Goodrich
  • Douglas A. Haber, Managing Director, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP
  • Ronald H. Klein, Managing Director, Sequel Holdings LP
  • Ronald W. Kuehl, Managing Director, Frontenac Co.
  • Timothy Larsen, Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey
  • Carl E. Lee, Former CEO, Snyder’s-Lance Inc.
  • Raymond Liguori, Former V.P.–Corporate Development, Campbell Soup Co.
  • Polly Mack, Regional Director, The Riverside Company
  • Jorgette J. Marinez, Dir.–Consumer Sectors, Business for Social Responsibility
  • Trevor Nelson, Co-Founder & Partner, Alliance Consumer Growth
  • James Nolan, Former EVP, Bimbo Bakeries USA Inc.
  • Dan Oxenham, Principal, Piper Jaffray & Co.
  • Peter D. Rahal, Chief Executive Officer, RXBAR
  • Jeffrey S. Robards, Managing Director, Alantra Partners SA
  • Robert Ross, Partner & Vice Chair–Private Equity, Benesch LLP
  • Katie Stitch, Managing Director, W Capital Partners
  • Brian D. Wiedenhoeft, Partner, Plante Moran
  • Robert J. Woolway, Managing Director, FocalPoint Partners LLC
  • Craig Zampa, Principal, Plante Moran
7:30am – 8:30am

Networking & Registration & Breakfast

8:30am – 9:00am

Welcoming Remarks & Audience Self-Introductions

9:00am – 9:30am

Conference Chair’s Introduction —
Elizabeth Williamson, Frontenac Company

9:30am – 10:15am

Morning Conversation —
New Entrants, Disruptions, & Recessions —
How You Can Stand Out When Change is Constant

10:15am – 11:00am

Networking & Coffee

11:00am – 12:00pm

First Panel —
Why PE Investors are Attracted to Sustainable Products
Like Packaging & Alternative Proteins

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Morning Keynote — TBA

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Networking & Luncheon

1:30pm – 2:15pm

Afternoon Conversation —
The Rise of Add-Ons —
Important Things to Consider When Growing through Acquisition

2:15pm – 3:15pm

Second Panel —
Scooping Up Carve-outs —
Where to Find Corporate Divestitures — & Win Them

3:15pm – 3:30pm

Networking & Dessert

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Third Panel —
Brands Under Threat —
How Can They Survive or Just Thrive?


Networking & Adjournment

Space at this conference is limited, so register as soon as possible to assure yourself a seat. To avoid disappointment, please contact Chris Agar today to confirm your attendance at 212-832-7300 ext. 0 or

Please note that Capital Roundtable limits the number of registrants from a single firm to three.

Best Rate – Early Registration

Save $400 off the standard fee of $1,495 when you register by Friday, February 1. Just $1,095.

Incentive Registration

Save $200 of the standard fee! Register by Friday, February 22, and the fee for the conference is $1,295.

Conference Rate

$1,495 increasing to $1,595 day of conference, space permitting.

Group Rate

$995 each, when you register two or more people to attend from the same company.

You can pay by credit card (using the links above or below) or by check. Mail your check and business card to: New York Business Roundtable Inc., 747 Third Avenue, Suite 200, New York, NY 10017.

Can’t attend but want to hear the program? You can buy the audio package along with the handounts.

This event is sponsored by:

Marquee Sponsors:

Benesch Logo
Plante Moran Logo

Media Partner:

The Food Institute

Association Partners:

Data Partners:

AEA Investors
Angelo Gordon & Co.
Arbor Private Investment Co.
Bright Greens Inc.
Brynwood Partners
C3 Capital
Campbell Soup Co.
Carter Morse & Mathias
Credit Suisse Group
Cyprium Investment Partners
DNS Capital
Duff & Phelps
Eagle Family Foods
Edlong Dairy Technologies

Edlong Dairy Technologies
Farmer’s Fridge
Food Institute
Geneva Glen Capital
Gryphon Investors
Harvest Partners
Insight Equity
Kelso & Co.
KeyBanc Capital
Keystone Capital Inc.
Kincannon & Reed Inc.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Lazard Middle Market
Lykos Capital Partners
Macquarie Capital
New Mountain Capital

NGEN Partners
Palladium Equity
Pathmore Group
Plante Moran
Rabobank International
Ruberto Israel & Weiner
Sherbrooke Capital
Sport & Wellness Holdings
Tannenbaum Heern Syracuse & Hirschtritt
TM Capital Corp.
Trilantic Capital
William Blair & Co.
William Hood & Co.
Wind Point Partners
WM Partners
Woodspur Farms


March 28, 2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Contact Us

747 Third Avenue | Suite 200 | New York City | 10017