CHICAGO — Private investment firm Highlander Partners, L.P. has acquired Evans Food Group, a provider of branded and private label pork rind snacks, through its newly-formed food platform Benestar Brands. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Evans Food Group has a presence in more than a dozen countries in North America, Latin America and Asia. The company has five manufacturing operations in the United States and one in Saltillo, Mexico. Its branded portfolio includes Mac’s, Turkey Creek, Don Rudy, Cazo de Oro and Domingo’s. The company was acquired by Wind Point Partners in 2016.
Pork Rinds are a fast-growing snack item. The high-protein, gluten-free and carbohydrate-free snack has a strong appeal with millennial consumers, according to Evans Food Group.
Jeff L. Hull, president and chief executive officer at Highlander, said the acquisition is part of the firm’s new focus on food and beverage, specifically the better-for-you, salty snack category.
“We have developed a team to focus in this area and to identify outstanding opportunities to grow our presence in the food sector,” Mr. Hull said. “We intend to make additional acquisitions around this strategy, both for Benestar and in other sectors of the food industry.”
Highlander also announced that Carl E. Lee Jr. has been named president and c.e.o. at Benestar Brands. Mr. Lee previously was president and c.e.o. of Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., before it was sold to Campbell Soup for more than $6 billion last year.
“This business reminds me of Snyder’s when I joined as c.e.o.; a leading manufacturer and distributor in a fast-growing category focused on a shift toward better-for-you snacks,” Mr. Lee said.