Highlander Partners Announces the Sale of Chicago Custom Foods to Sauer Brands
May 5, 2020 – Dallas, Texas | Highlander Partners, L.P., a leading middle market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, today announced the sale of Chicago Custom Foods, LLC (“CCF” or “the Company”), a manufacturer and distributor of branded seasonings, to Sauer Brands, Inc., a portfolio company of Falfurrias Capital Partners.
CCF was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. CCF is the creator and category leader in branded popcorn seasonings under the Kernel Season’s brand name. The Kernel Season’s product portfolio includes more than twenty popcorn flavors, ranging from simple butter and white cheddar to garlic parmesan and cheesy caramel corn, as well as popcorn oils and drizzles.
During Highlander’s ownership, CCF has introduced additional brands; including Tasty Shakes oatmeal mix-ins, Veggie Season’s vegetable seasonings and the recently introduced premium Truffle Season’s popcorn seasonings. The Company’s products are sold in more than 22,000 retailers, including mass merchants, grocery and specialty stores, throughout North America and internationally. The products also can be found in movie theaters in more than 30 countries worldwide, accounting for over 32,000 screens.
Jeff L. Hull, President and CEO of Highlander, commented, “This sale marks the culmination of a very deliberate strategy of broadening the product line through additional flavors to existing products and introducing new seasoning offerings for use with other product categories. The management team, led by Jason Roy, has driven tremendous growth through innovation, new customer penetration and increased consumer awareness.”
Jason Roy, CEO of CCF, stated, “We are excited about the new opportunities with Sauer Brands, and also very appreciative of the support that Highlander provided during our tenure. We are ready for the future and the team is energized by the possibilities and new opportunities. Our Kernel Season’s brand has exceptional consumer awareness and we are equally excited about our new brands and product offerings, too.”
Jeff Partridge, CCF Chairman and a Highlander Managing Director, added, “Jason and his team have done an exemplary job. The speed of innovation and creativity in developing high quality new products has only been outdone by the immense growth the company has experienced. We want to thank Jason and the entire team for an incredible job and wish them the best.”
BlackArch Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to CCF in connection with this transaction and Katten served as legal advisor.
About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with over $2.0 billion of assets under management. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience, including basic manufacturing, food, chemicals, building materials, consumer products, and others. Highlander Partners uses a “buy and build” investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow organically and through acquisitions. For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com.