Endeavour invests in freeze-dried foods and packaging provider

An unspecified investment in OFD Foods will fund additional freeze-drying capacity at the Oregon-based company.

The retirement of management shareholders has provided the opportunity for a private equity investment into a freeze-dried food and packaging company in the US Pacific north-west.

OFD Foods announced Monday that Endeavour Capital has made an unspecified investment that will fund a buyout of several long-serving managers and investment in additional freeze-drying capacity.

Endeavour’s investment in OFD came from its seventh fund, which closed on $775 million early last year after just three months in market.

Endeavour Capital is a mid-market private equity firm focused on companies on the US west coast. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Endeavour maintains offices in Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles. Aside from the food and consumer market, the firm also concentrates on investments in the transportation and logistics, healthcare and business services sectors.

OFD Foods is a diversified freeze-dryer headquartered in Albany, Oregon. In addition to providing meals to the US military and packaging services to both food and non-food customers, OFD also offers prepared meals under two brands: Easy Meal, targeted at residential care facilities; and Mountain House, geared towards the camping, food storage and emergency preparedness markets.

Merryman told Agri Investor that both brands have seen growth over the past decade, with ageing demographics driving sales at Easy Meal and Hurricane Katrina serving as an important milestone in the market for food storage and emergency preparedness products provided by Mountain House.

“People want to take care of their family,” he said. “There’s a movement to be more prepared.”

Proceeds from Endeavour’s investment will be used to fund growth of those brands, the expansion of OFD’s facility in Albany, and potentially, the addition of freeze-drying capacity to other regions of North America, according to Endeavour managing director Stephen Babson.

The future expansion of freeze-drying capacity might allow for facilities specialised in packaging specific products, Babson told Agri Investor. Probiotics, for example, are a product line that could benefit from such an arrangement – and one which OFD specialises in freeze-drying.

Babson declined to provide more detail on the financial terms of the transaction.