NEW YORK — Roland Foods, L.L.C. has acquired Albert Uster Imports, an importer of specialty pastry, baking and confectionery ingredients and supplies.
Based in Gaithersburg, Md., and in business for more than 50 years, A.U.I. supplies chefs and bakers with a wide range of specialty products, including cake and other bakery mixes; chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter; nuts, nut flours, nut pastes and nut fillings; flavor concentrates and extracts; frozen fruit purees, fruit fillings, candied fruits and whole fruits and freeze-dried fruits; frozen desserts and hors d’oeuvres; and a wide assortment of other specialty ingredients and products.
Brands imported by A.U.I. include Felchin, HUG, Ponthier, Laderach and PCB Creation.
“The acquisition of A.U.I. establishes Roland Foods as a leading platform within the specialty foods landscape,” said James Wagner, chief executive officer of Roland Foods, a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners. “This acquisition doubles Roland Foods’ portfolio of unique, hard-to-source specialty products, increases our presence in the growing pastry and confections product lines, and offers us entry into the frozen and refrigerated categories.”
Established in 1934, Roland Foods is an importer of specialty food products with more than 1,500 stock-keeping units the company supplies to food service, retail and industrial customers in North America and globally.
Roland imports specialty products from more than 50 countries. The company was established in Paris in 1934 and began operations in the United States five years later. The company’s products are sold principally under the Roland brand.
“A.U.I. and Roland Foods have much in common as global leaders in the imported specialty foods niche,” said Philipp Braun, c.e.o. of A.U.I. “However, there is little product overlap, and each company brings complementary products and services to the combination. The resources and expertise that A.U.I. can now tap through Roland Foods will accelerate our ambitious plans for both product and customer expansion.”
A middle-market private equity firm based in New York, Vestar’s current portfolio includes Nonni’s Foods, L.L.C. and BIGR Ventures, an investment fund focused on early-stage investments in natural and organic food companies.
Numerous earlier food related investments included Birds Eye Foods, Inc.; Celestial Seasonings, Inc.; Fiorucci S.p.A.; Hearthside Food Solutions; and Michael Foods, Inc.