Acquisition of leading West Coast-based Tetra Pak food and beverage packager positions Gehl for further value creation
Wind Point Partners Portfolio Company, Gehl Foods, Acquires California Natural Products
January 30, 2018 – Wind Point Partners and portfolio company GF Assets Holdings Corporation (“GF Assets”), the parent company of Gehl Foods, LLC (“Gehl”), a market-leading producer of dairy-based, shelf-stable beverages, cheese sauces and other products, are pleased to announce the acquisition of California Natural Products (“CNP”). CNP, headquartered in Lathrop, California, is an aseptic packager of dairy-based and dairy alternative beverages, soups, broths, teas, nutritional drinks, and wine and spirits, all in Tetra Pak cartons. CNP also manufactures specialty rice and soy-based ingredients for blue-chip consumer food brands.
The combination of Gehl and CNP creates a leading provider of low-acid aseptic food and beverage products, offering a breadth of packaging formats and geographic reach. With its manufacturing facility in Germantown, Wisconsin, Gehl’s aseptic packaging capabilities include bag-in-box, pouch, #10 can, HDPE and PET single-serve bottles. Through its West Coast operation, CNP offers filling capabilities across eight unique carton sizes, in addition to ingredient development and manufacturing. CNP also adds a high-quality group of long-term customer relationships to the Gehl family and provides access to several growing end markets.
David Stott, Managing Director with Wind Point Partners, stated, “CNP represents an ideal fit with Gehl and an excellent next step toward building out our platform in the growing segments of shelf-stable food and beverage. Our customers are looking for exceptional service across a breadth of packaging formats, coupled with product formulation and supply chain expertise. Together these businesses are poised to deliver on that proposition.”
“I’m very excited to lead this expansion at Gehl Foods,” commented Eric Beringause, Chief Executive Officer of Gehl Foods. “At Gehl, we inherited an exceptional company with an outstanding track record. Over the past three years, we’ve been able to build on that foundation and look forward to the many opportunities that will come from adding CNP to the organization.”
Pat Mitchell, owner and CEO of CNP, said, “I am excited to see the partnership between CNP, Gehl and Wind Point develop. The combination of both businesses represents a fundamentally sound foundation supported by a diversity of products and customers, as well as an opportunity to realize sustained growth in the coming years. I look forward to seeing the progress that the combined team will make towards the shared goal of value creation through both expansion of our existing offerings and new product innovation.”
Reed Smith LLP served as legal counsel to Gehl and Wind Point, while CNP was advised by Cascadia Capital and Perkins Coie LLP.
About Gehl Foods
Founded by J.P. Gehl in 1896 as a creamery, Gehl Foods is a Germantown, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of ready-to-serve, real dairy products in the sauce and nutritional beverage segments. J.P.’s grandson, John Gehl, led the company for almost 50 years before transitioning leadership to Katherine Gehl, who became President & CEO in 2011 and set the business on a course for long-term growth. Gehl is led today by CEO Eric Beringause, who assumed leadership at the time of Wind Point’s investment in March 2015. The company operates in the low-acid aseptic market through three primary facilities and has widespread distribution throughout North America. Gehl’s robust research & development platform has produced a range of unique beverage and cheese formulations that are both licensed to national brands, as well as sold under private label families at large national retailers.
About California Natural Products
Founded in 1980 by owner Pat Mitchell, CNP operates out of three facilities in Lathrop, California, and enjoys longstanding relationships with established consumer brands as well as emerging brands across a variety of product categories. These categories include dairy and non-dairy based beverages, soups, sauces, tea, coffee and nutritional beverages. In addition, CNP offers specialty ingredient development and manufacturing capability in segments such as rice-based syrups and sweeteners, soy milk and non-dairy protein.
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a leading Chicago-based private equity investment firm with just over $2 billion in assets under management. Wind Point focuses on partnering with top caliber management teams to acquire well-positioned middle market businesses where it can establish a clear path to value creation. The firm targets investments in the consumer products, industrial products, and business services sectors. Wind Point is currently investing out of Wind Point Partners VIII, a $985 million fund that was initiated in 2016.
For more information, please visit www.windpointpartners.com.