2x Consumer Products Growth Partners and Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners To Exit Tasty Bite Investment
Kagome to acquire leading ethnic food brand
Chicago, IL and Pasadena, CA – 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners (“2x Partners”) and Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners (“RC/Fontis”) are set to exit their investments in Preferred Brands International, Inc. An announcement was made simultaneously to the Nikkei and Bombay stock exchanges that Kagome Co., Ltd. (TYO: 2811), a large Japanese food and beverage company, will acquire majority interest in Preferred Brands. Management will continue to own a significant minority interest following the transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in May, 2015.
Based in Stamford, CT, with manufacturing in Pune, India, Preferred Brands is a leading manufacturer and marketer of Indian entrées, Asian noodles and ethnic inspired organic rice products under the TASTY BITE brand. During the term of the investments from 2x Partners (invested in 2010) and RC/Fontis (initially invested in 2008 as the first institutional money into the Company), the Company’s revenue approximately doubled and tripled respectively while profitability growth exceeded revenue growth in all cases.
“Pending regulatory approval, we will be pleased to see a global industry leader like Kagome take Tasty Bite to the next level,” said Andrew Whitman, Managing Partner at 2x Partners. Adds Renée LaBran, Managing Partner at RC/Fontis, “We have tremendous respect for the Tasty Bite team, and expect that the company will thrive under their continued leadership and the guidance of Kagome.”
LaBran and Managing Partner Gabrielle Greene-Sulzberger led the investment from RCF and were supported by their partner Danny Villanueva. The 2x Partners team included Whitman and Vice President Kim Anne Starke and were supported by Managing Partner Sharon Kieffer, Vice President Mike Apostal and several of the firm’s Industry Venture Partners.
Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor to Preferred Brands. The Giannuzzi Group, LLP and Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered provided legal counsel to the Company and the investors respectively.