Atlantic Premium Brands, Ltd. (“APB”) formerly a publicly traded food holding company, is now principally owned by a group of private investors. Its Richard’s Cajun Foods (“Richard’s”) and Blue Ribbon Bacon & Sausage (“Blue Ribbon”) divisions have leading, premium brand positions in the Cajun food and Texas bacon and sausage markets, respectively.
Brookwood Associates advised APB on the sale of its Richard’s and Blue Ribbon divisions to Tall Tree Holdings, a newly formed holding company backed by Altamont Capital Partners.
Engagement Process and Outcomes
Recent History – Richard’s and Blue Ribbon were the last two major entities in APB to be divested. The divisions until recently had been managed to generate cash flow to support a sister company, and rising commodity prices had hurt sales volume, forcing management to maintain profitability by exercising each brand’s pricing power. Nevertheless, new growth initiatives were gaining traction during the sale process was experiencing rapid growth due to accelerating pipeline construction and drilling activity in shale plays, had recently completed an add on acquisition, and completed a second add-on during the sale process.
Effective Positioning – After conducting thorough due diligence, Brookwood drafted marketing materials emphasizing the following: (i) premium brand position with strong customer franchises and growth potential; (ii) pricing power and track record of product cost improvements; (iii) longstanding, profitable relationships with blue chip customer base; (iv) strong safety record; and (v) experienced, entrepreneurial operating team.
Strong Marketing, Qualification and Negotiation Processes – Brookwood ran a broad marketing process targeting a global group of strategic and financial buyers that generated several attractive offers for APB to evaluate. Brookwood worked closely with the buyer and seller deal teams to negotiate a letter of intent, complete extensive due diligence, and negotiate a signed purchased agreement while minimizing the transaction’s demands on management’s time.
The Result – Brookwood generated attractive alternatives for APB and management despite a complex growth story, unique competitive market dynamics, and record input prices, highlighting Brookwood’s deep sector knowledge and process management skills. This transaction positioned Richards and Blue Ribbon as the centerpiece of Tall Tree Holdings’ aggressive growth strategy.
Press Release Excerpt
Atlantic Premium Brands
Chicago, Illinois, Houston, TX, Lafayette, LA July 1st 2013 – After owning the assets for over 15 years, Atlantic Premium Brands, Ltd. (“APB”) announced today that it has divested its Richard’s Cajun Foods and Blue Ribbon Bacon & Sausage business units. The buyer is Tall Tree Foods Holdings Inc., a newly formed holding company backed by Palo Alto, CA-based Altamont Capital Partners. Brookwood Associates, L.L.C. and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP advised APB on the transaction.
Under its 31-year old Richard’s brand, APB has been recognized as one of the largest Certified Cajun food producers in the U.S. The 66 year-old Blue Ribbon bacon and sausage brand has grown to become one of the nation’s premier regional brands maintaining its position as the #1 brand in its core markets for over 26 years.
Commenting on the deal, APB CEO Tom Dalton said: “I have enjoyed working with the exceptional management teams leading the Richard’s and Blue Ribbon businesses to develop and grow specialty and premium products with national potential. Having built significant value in these business units, our Board of Directors determined it was appropriate for our shareholders to recognize that value, and to transition these businesses to a new owner with the desire and resources to continue to foster this growth. We wish this extraordinary management team and the new owners continued success.”
Atlantic Premium Brand’s associated with the transaction include the highly-recognized Richard’s (pronounced REE-shard’s) brand and the Cajun Country, Cajun Favorites, and Krazy Cajun brands; the market leading Blue Ribbon brand and the Texas Traditions, Tejano Gold and Carlton’s brands.
Following the transaction, APB will continue to operate its JCP Specialty Foods business and maintain its joint venture interest in Potters Premium Sausage.