Harvest Partners recaps and invests in PE-owned Roland Foods

Vestar Capital Partners–owned Roland Foods has secured $125m in a recapitalization led by Harvest Partners SCF.

Harvest Partners SCF has completed the $125 million recapitalization of Roland Foods, an importer and supplier of specialty foods owned by Vestar Capital Partners, and made a minority investment in the business.

“Given the strong prospects ahead for our business, both organically and through acquisitions, this transaction is an opportunity to provide Roland with the capital flexibility to further our market-leading position,” Roland chief executive Jim Wagner said in a statement.

As part of the transaction, Sean Murphy, who joined the firm last year and was promoted to managing director on Monday, will represent Harvest Partners on Roland’s board.

Vestar had acquired a majority stake in Roland Foods for an undisclosed sum in 2013, using capital from its Vestar Capital Partners VI fund that closed on $814 million in 2011.

New York-based private equity investment firm Harvest Partners, founded in 1981, typically invests in companies with between $100 million and $1 billion in enterprise value and revenue and is currently investing from its seventh private equity fund, which has $2.2 billion in committed capital. In January 2015 the firm announced the formation of Harvest Partners SCF, a private investment advisor that provides structured equity and junior debt solutions for business owners.

Vestar is a mid-market private equity focused on management buyouts, growth equity investments and recapitalizations with $5 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1988, it typically invests between $50 million and $200 million in companies with valuations between $100 million and $1 billion in the business service and industrial products, healthcare and consumer sectors.

Founded in Paris in 1934, Roland Foods offers more than 1,500 products including pastas and sauces, seafood and a variety of condiments and spices to retail, food service and industrial customers.

The company imports products from more than 40 countries and also sells directly to consumers under brands including Roland, Don Bruno, Chef Susanna’s, Costamar and Consul.  In addition to its domestic sales, Roland also has clients in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to Roland, other food-related investments in Vestar’s current portfolio include organic food and beverage sales broker Presence Marketing, independent bakery and contract manufacturer Hearthside Food Solutions and BIGR Ventures, a fund focused on support for early-stage natural and organic food companies.