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    Private Equity Firm Huntsmen Gay Capital Buys Mama Rosa’s Pizza

    Supplier viewed as platform for more food acquisityions

    Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a middle market private equity firm, has acquired MaMa Rosa’s Pizza, LLC, a producer of refrigerated pizzas, as a platform for expanding into other areas of the foodservice business. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

    Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Sidney, Ohio, MaMa Rosa sells more than 3 million cases of large pizzas for family meals and mini snack pizzas annually, distributing to more than 10,000 supermarkets, warehouse club stores, pharmacies and convenience stores throughout the United States and in Mexico. In addition to the MaMa Rosa's refrigerated pizza brand, the company manufactures and markets refrigerated pizza products under the Mama Angelina's, Our Old Italian, and Lean Lifestyle brand names; and also co-packs for several of the largest food companies in the United States.

    “MaMa Rosa’s is a great business that has experienced impressive growth over 30 years and has very strong distribution channels across the US and beyond,” said Ryan Stratton, principal at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Huntsman Gay. “We believe MaMa Rosa’s presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a sizable platform, and we fully intend to grow the company through add-on acquisitions of other food businesses over time. For Huntsman Gay, this deal also adds further dimension to an already diverse portfolio as we continue to look across a wide variety of industries and sectors for the best investment opportunities.”

    Huntsman Gay purchased the company out of its debut $1.1 billion fund from a group of investors led by its majority owner, Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC., a private equity firm based in Shawnee Mission, Kan. that specializes in investments in food manufacturing businesses. Other financial partners in MaMa Rosa’s were MidStates Capital, L.P. and Kansas Venture Capital, Inc., both of Overland Park, Kan., Lewis & Clark Holdings, Inc. of Kansas City, Jefferson Capital Partners I, L.P. of New Orleans, and Critical Capital Growth Fund, L.P. of Connecticut and Bank Midwest of Kansas City. Advisors to Plaza Belmont in the transaction were Lazard Middle Market LLC, Polsinelli Shughart P.C., BKD. LLP, and Lockton Companies, LLC.

    “We are extremely proud of the progress MaMa Rosa’s has made since 2006 under Plaza Belmont’s ownership and the leadership of Bill Mackin, who served as MaMa Rosa’s president,” said Bob Parnow, president of Plaza Belmont Management Group II LLC, the manager of Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC. “We wanted to ensure that the new owners would have the necessary operational expertise, as well as the financial resources, to provide growth opportunities for the Company and its employees. Huntsman Gay demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of MaMa Rosa’s opportunity and a commitment to long-term success. Not only does this transaction provide excellent returns for our investors, but, just as when Mike Gilardi sold the business to ConAgra in the late ’90s, every employee of the Company will share in a portion of the profits from the sale.”

     

     

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