CHICAGO, IL – March 26, 2013; City Capital Advisors, an investment banking firm serving the middle market, announced today that it represented SGF Produce Holdings, LLC, the parent entity of Sunrise Growers~Frozsun Foods (“Sunrise” or the “Company”), as its exclusive financial advisor in a transaction securing new investors. The transaction was led by City Capital Managing Director Rachel Corn Kluge, the head of City Capital’s Food and Agribusiness Investment Banking practice. This transaction represents City Capital’s 14th transaction in the Food and Agribusiness sector since Ms. Corn Kluge joined the firm.
The transaction involved an investment in the Company, which was an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., by Paine & Partners, LLC, a global private equity investment firm focused on investing in food and agribusiness. Following the closing, Sunrise is no longer an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Sunrise is a leading value-added frozen fruit processor and marketer. The Company, headquartered in Placentia, California, was founded in 1977 and operates high quality processing facilities in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California, which are strategically located in the leading strawberry producing regions of the United States. Sunrise’s products include frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches and fruit blends in multiple product specifications and packaging configurations. The Company is a leader in the growing markets for retail frozen fruit and foodservice frozen strawberries, and it also markets fresh strawberries to leading retailers throughout the U.S. Sunrise’s consumer products are sold primarily under customers’ private label brands and also under the Sunrise Growers brand name.
The Paine & Partners investment thesis focused on the Company being a leader in the retail and foodservice frozen fruit markets who is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for healthy food alternatives and quality frozen fruit products. Paine & Partners was impressed by the Company’s capabilities and the strong strategic relationships it has with its grower and customer partners. Together with the Sunrise management team, Paine & Partners has identified opportunities to enhance the Company’s product offerings, including expansion into new fruit categories and markets.
Ed Haft, President and CEO of Sunrise, said, “With Paine & Partners, we will continue to build on our diverse portfolio of quality products, state-of-the-art processing facilities and industry leading food safety practices. Our strong relationships with our leading retail and foodservice customers and grower partners are due to our product capabilities and quality, supply certainty and flexibility, and we will look to continue to expand those capabilities in the future. We look forward to working with the Paine & Partners team, whose experience investing across the food and agribusiness value chain and resources will help us achieve our long-term potential as we continue to develop and expand our business.”
“Sunrise Growers’ continued success as a market leader has been fueled by a disciplined commitment to strategic operational improvements, as well as pursuing innovative and customer-focused solutions,” said Marc Leder, Co-CEO at Sun Capital. “These efforts have contributed to excellent growth and improved profitability, and the Company is well positioned for future success.”
About Sunrise Growers~Frozsun Foods
Sunrise Growers~Frozsun Foods is the leading strawberry processor in the U.S. and one of the top marketers of frozen fruit and fresh strawberries. The Company, headquartered in Placentia, California, was founded in 1977 and operates high quality processing facilities in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California, which are strategically located in the leading strawberry producing regions of the United States. Recognized for its award-winning private label retail and foodservice programs, the Company is vertically integrated allowing control of products throughout the supply chain. From specialty toppings to beverage bases and smoothies and a full line of innovative frozen fruit products, Sunrise Growers~Frozsun Foods services a wide range of retail, industrial and foodservice customers.
About Sun Capital Partners
Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt and other investments in companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 315 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since Sun Capital’s inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles and New York, as well as affiliates in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Sun Capital has strong experience in the food and beverage sector through current affiliated portfolio companies: Contessa Premium Foods, a leading U.S. processor and distributor of premium seafood and frozen convenience meals; Creekstone Farms, a processor of high-quality beef products; Harry’s Fresh Foods, a producer of premium home-style refrigerated foods for the retail and foodservice markets; and several former affiliated portfolio companies such as Fearman’s Pork, Elan Nutrition and Cangro.
About Paine & Partners
Paine & Partners provides equity capital for management buyouts, going private transactions and company expansion and growth programs. Paine & Partners engages exclusively in friendly transactions developed in cooperation with a company’s management, board of directors and shareholders. The firm currently makes investments through its $1.2 billion fund, Paine & Partners Capital Fund III, L. P. and related entities. Paine & Partners focuses on the food and agribusiness industry globally, and its principals, through a predecessor fund, have made successful strategic investments in Seminis, then the world’s leading global developer, producer and marketer of vegetable and fruit seeds; and Advanta Netherlands Holdings BV, at the time, the largest independent agronomic seed company in the world. Paine & Partners also invested in Icicle Seafoods, a leading producer, harvester and processor of salmon, pollock, halibut, cod, crab and other seafood products with operations in North and South America and sales globally. Paine & Partners’ most recent investments include Eurodrip, a global manufacturer and supplier of drip irrigation solutions; Verdesian Life Sciences, a U.S.-based plant health and nutrition investment platform; Scanbio Marine Group, a leading Norwegian producer of fish protein concentrate, fish meal and fish oil; and Costa Group, Australia’s largest integrated grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables. The complex investment opportunities in today’s rapidly evolving agribusiness environment play to the strengths of Paine & Partners’ differentiated approach.
About City Capital Advisors, LLC
City Capital Advisors, a FINRA registered broker-dealer, is a results oriented investment and merchant banking advisory firm. Client engagements are managed exclusively by experienced senior investment bankers who deliver business owners optimal performance in capitalizing on the value of their companies and meeting their objectives as shareholders. City Capital’s investment banking professionals have successfully advised clients on merger and capital markets transactions totaling in excess of $60 billion.