Food & Nutrition Specialists Make Mark in Private Equity

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Two women working in food industry Among some of the more active specialist firms during that time:

Among the more active private equity shops investing in food & nutrition deals over the last two years have been firms who make such deals a specialty. It’s yet more evidence that, to stay competitive for deals, private equity firms are becoming ever more specialized.

* Arbor Investments, an investor in food and beverage companies that invested in at least three deals over the last two years, according to data provider Sutton Place Strategies. They include Darifair Foods Inc., a provider of dairy products and ingredients to restaurants and food manufacturers.

* Butterfly Equity, a food specialist that backed at least two companies over the last two years, including Bolthouse Farms.

* Kainos Capital, whose focus is food and consumer-related companies. The firm has invested in at least eight food & nutrition companies over the last two years, including Harry’s Fresh Foods and Ferraro Foods Inc.

* Tilia Holdings, which backs services companies targeting the food supply chain. In the last two years the firm has backed at least three companies. They include Universal Pure, which provides cold storage and other services to food and beverage manufacturers.

The food & nutrition deals tracked by Sutton Place Strategies are defined to include agriculture, consumable food products and food-related products and services. They do not include alcohol or restaurant transactions.  Deals tracked by private equity firms include platform deals, add-ons, financings and recapitalizations.

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