Private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC today announced that its affiliates have sold their interests in Peacock Foods to Greencore Group plc, an international producer of convenience foods based in Ireland and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Peacock is a leading food manufacturer and provider of packaging and supply chain management solutions to many of the top consumer food companies in the United States. Customers include Tyson Foods®, KraftHeinz® and Dole®. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Charlesbank acquired Peacock in 2010. Headquartered in Geneva, IL, the company operates seven manufacturing facilities and has a long track record of quality and safety as well as expertise in automation, project engineering, packaging and processing. In 2015, Peacock acquired L&L Foods, a provider of high-volume, single-serve/portion-control packages of food products. The acquisition provided access into rapidly growing end-markets (prepared salad kits and away-from-home products), diversified Peacock’s customer base and expanded its geographic footprint. In conjunction with L&L, Peacock added a new West Coast facility to support strong growth of the business and expand its presence for other customers. As the food industry increasingly turns toward outsourced manufacturing, Peacock maintains strong market positions in fast-growing categories such as frozen breakfast sandwiches, kids’ snack kits and salad kits.
In addition to the L&L acquisition, during Charlesbank’s ownership the company saw a period of strong organic growth and launched significant lean manufacturing and human capital development initiatives. Additionally, Charlesbank recruited Tom Sampson, a food industry veteran with a long, successful career at Kraft Foods, to become the CEO of Peacock in 2013. Ryan Carroll, a managing director at Charlesbank, said, “We are gratified to have had the opportunity to partner with Tom Sampson and his exceptional team to build on Peacock’s industry-leading position and well-deserved record of success. This has been a rewarding investment for our investors and Charlesbank, and we wish Peacock and Greencore well as they continue to execute on their promising growth strategy.”
“We have enjoyed a terrific partnership with Charlesbank and appreciate their valuable support and insight over the past several years,” said Mr. Sampson. “Together we have strengthened customer relationships, won important new business, significantly improved our operations and expanded our capabilities – while maintaining our reputation for outstanding quality, food safety and service. Greencore shares our commitment to the US convenience food market, and we are excited to join their team. With complementary competencies and enhanced operating capacity, we will improve the experience for our customers and fortify a platform for sustained growth.”
Jefferies LLC served as lead financial advisor to Peacock and Charlesbank, with Houlihan Lokey serving as co-advisor.
About Peacock Foods
Founded by Harold Peacock in 1942, Peacock Foods is a focused food manufacturer and one of the largest providers of integrated supply chain and packaging solutions to the consumer food industry. The company specializes in refrigerated, frozen, and ambient primary processing and packaging for many category-leading brands. Peacock operates seven facilities totaling more than two million square feet in California, Illinois and Ohio.
For more information, please visit www.peacockfoods.com.
About Charlesbank Capital Partners
Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $3.5 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, generally investing in companies with enterprise values of $150 million to $1 billion, and also engages in opportunistic credit investments. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantage and excellent prospects for growth.
For more information, please visit www.charlesbank.com.