Levine Leichtman has agreed to buy FlexXray, which uses X-ray imaging to help clients identify safety incidents, amid a drastic jump in food recalls in the US.
Barton Creek Equity Partners has sold FlexXray, a Texas-based food safety service provider, to fellow mid-market firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum.
FlexXray provides specialty testing, inspection and recovery services to North American food industry customers, using X-ray imaging to identify contaminants and defects in food products and raw materials. Founded in 2001, the company also offers services including: process recovery, following production mishaps; re-packing and preparation for inspection of ‘hazard analysis and critical control points’; as well as Food Safety Modernization Act plans.
Barton Creek partner Ron Duncan told Agri Investor that, while FSMA did not play any role in motivating the firm’s initial investment in FlexXray, the law was an example of the type of regulation likely to support growth going forward.
“Regulatory trends and regulation are a driver, for all sorts of food safety companies, one being FlexXray,” he said. “It’s clear that’s helpful.”
Barton Creek typically invests in companies with EBITDA of between $2 million and $10 million located in Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states. The firm’s target sectors include traditional and alternative energy, healthcare, media, food and others.
“Over the course of a two-year investment in FlexXray, BCEP and management transitioned the company from a founder-owned and operated business to be a leading services provider to food companies in North America” it said, adding that FlexXray doubled its customer base under the firm’s ownership.
Levine Leichtman is a mid-market independent financial firm founded in 1984 with offices in Los Angles, Dallas, Chicago, New York, London and The Hague. The firm utilizes both equity and debt in its investments and focuses largely on the consumer, business services, healthcare, light manufacturing and other sectors.
FlexXray and Levine Leichtman representatives did not return messages seeking further comment by the time of publication.
Earlier this summer, Rabobank’s Food Bytes conference highlighted another company using high-powered imaging technology in service of food safety. The People’s Choice award at the event went to ImpactVision, a California-based software platform that uses imaging technology designed for use in space to examine food and provide information about its nutritional content, freshness and moisture.