NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2016: Centre Partners Management LLC (“Centre Partners”) announced today that its portfolio company Bellisio Foods Inc. (“Bellisio” or the “Company”) has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (“CP Foods”), of Thailand, for $1.075 billion.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Bellisio is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing frozen food companies. The Company manufactures and distributes a diverse and growing portfolio of high-quality and innovative branded frozen products that address the evolving needs of a broad consumer base spanning different ages, life stages, and lifestyles. Bellisio operates several state-of-the-art production facilities strategically located in Ohio, Minnesota, and California.
Since acquiring the business from its founder in 2011, Centre Partners has been working closely with management to accelerate Bellisio’s growth trajectory. The Company completed strategic acquisitions, expanded its product offerings, entered into multiple license agreements for well-established brands, and executed a series of operational initiatives to enhance performance. Over the last five years, Bellisio has added premium and lifestyle brands such as Boston Market, Chili’s, Atkins, Eating Well and Eat! to its core Michelina’s value brand. The Company’s revenue has more than doubled during Centre’s ownership and Bellisio has become the third-largest frozen food company in North America.
Bruce Pollack, a Managing Partner of Centre Partners, said: “Through our partnership with Joel Conner and his management team, the successful execution of the Company’s strategic initiatives has generated sustained top-line growth and tremendous enhancements to profitability. Bellisio’s innovative product portfolio, diversified customer base, and cost-effective manufacturing and distribution capabilities form an enviable platform for continued growth. CP Foods is an ideal partner for Bellisio as it enters its next phase of growth and leverages its innovation capabilities and production scale. We wish Bellisio and its employees all the best for a successful future.”
Joel Conner, Chairman of Bellisio, stated: “We have enjoyed a highly productive partnership with Centre Partners. Our team’s success was clearly enhanced by Centre Partners’ support and resources, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. We have built an extremely talented team at Bellisio, which executed our strategy superbly and delivered remarkable results. We are excited to be part of CP Foods and look forward to leading the North American strategy for one of the world’s most successful and innovative food companies.”
The transaction is expected to close in December 2016.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Moelis & Company LLC are acting as financial advisors to Bellisio with respect to the transaction and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal advisor.
About Centre Partners:Â Founded in 1986, Centre Partners is a leading middle-market private equity firm focusing on the consumer and healthcare sectors, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Centre has invested over $2 billion of equity capital in more than 75 transactions since its inception. Centre seeks to partner with founders and management teams to build exceptional businesses. Centre Partners provides management teams access to its unique resources, which includes an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.
About Bellisio Foods:Â Bellisio Foods, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing frozen food companies with a rich 26-year history of providing quality, innovative food tailored to consumer tastes and lifestyles. Based in Minneapolis, Bellisio Foods produces more than 400 products spanning a wide variety of frozen food categories, including single and multi-serve entrees, snacks, side dishes, and specialty sauces. Bellisio markets these products under its Michelina’s and Eat! brands, as well as under licensed brands Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell, and Atkins. The company also co-manufactures private label, retail and foodservice products. For more information, visit www.bellisiofoods.com.