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Swander Pace exits $160m Kicking Horse

The US mid-market consumer investor has sold the Canadian coffee roasting company to Italian roasters Lavazza.

US mid-market private equity firm Swander Pace Capital has sold Canadian coffee roasting company Kicking Horse Coffee to Italian coffee giant Lavazza in a deal which values the company at C$ 215 million ($160 million, €143 million).

The Italian company has acquired an 80 percent stake with Elana Rosenfeld, the co-founder and chief executive of Kicking Horse Coffee, holding the balance.

“Today, organic fair-trade coffee is one of the fastest-growing trends at the international level, and in North America in particular. Kicking Horse Coffee leads this segment with a brand that is perfectly complementary to the Lavazza portfolio,” Antonio Baravalle, chief executive of the Lavazza Group said.

Mid-market consumer products investor Swander Pace Capital acquired the coffee roaster in 2012 from its Branch Brook Holdings vehicle, which is a partnership with Virginia-based private equity firm Jefferson Capital Partners and organic food specialist United Natural Foods.

The sale leaves Branch Brook with two holdings: organic ice cream company Oregon Ice Cream, and New Jersey-based Reliance Holdings, known for its plant-based protein brand PlantFusion, which it acquired in January.

Swander Pace Capital is currently investing its fifth fund, SPC Partners V fund, which closed on $350 million in 2014. It’s most recent investment from this vehicle was last month’s acquisition of flavored foods distributor Passport Foods Group from Wedbush Capital Partners.