CHICAGO — Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (e2p), a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the food and consumer packaged foods industries, announced it has acquired Roskam Baking Co. and merged Roskam with Organic Milling, which it acquired in December 2021. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Roskam is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based provider of baked products, including croutons, stuffing and bread crumbs to retail foodservice and industrial markets in the United States. Its product line also includes snack products, candies, finishings and dry mixes. The company operates six facilities, manufacturing more than 30 packaged lines.

Mark Burgett, managing partner of e2p, while at a different firm, acquired two businesses from the Roskam family, including the assets of Hearthside Food Solutions, LLC.

“Given the positive experience that (Bob) Roskam had during both transactions and the trust that has developed since those deals, Mr. Roskam proactively reached out to Mr. Burgett to initiate the sale of the balance of his family’s business,” e2p said.

“Bob and I met nearly 20 years ago when we were on our respective family vacations in Costa Rica.” Mr. Burgett said. “We’ve stayed in close touch and remained personal friends ever since, which has led to meaningful mutual trust and respect, which in turn has ultimately led to three transactions that were consummated without the involvement of an investment banker. The close relationship that Bob and I have shared for two decades is a great illustration of how we at e2p form mutually beneficial relationships with exceptional family business leaders like Bob.

“In this case, we are fortunate to be acquiring the entire balance of the business and intend to maintain the Roskam name, which has an iconic reputation in the industry. The platform is scaled and well-diversified, with over $600 million in sales. Additionally, we simultaneously merged Roskam with our existing portfolio company Organic Milling, which has for over 60 years been a leading contract manufacturer of ‘better-for-you’ granola, snacks and ingredients for the leading brands in the category.”

Keven Henneck, vice president at e2p, added, “We are excited to partner with the incumbent management team, who will play a critical role in helping to drive the next phase of growth at Roskam. This is the first acquisition of a Roskam business where we’ll be inheriting the entire team, which is exciting given their track record of growth. We have been very impressed with their work ethic and dedication and look forward to helping them build on their recent success.”

In 2021, e2p closed its inaugural fund, Entrepreneurial Equity Partners I (e2p I or Fund I), with $423 million in aggregate capital commitments. The e2p team is led by managing partners Mr. Burgett and CJ Fraleigh. Mr. Burgett has more than 20 years of private equity and finance experience. Prior to co-founding e2p he was a managing director at Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners, where he led investments in food and consumer products for 14 years. Prior to Wind Point, he had progressively senior roles in the investment banking groups at Morgan Stanley and Robert W. Baird. Mr. Fraleigh has more than 25 years of operating experience, including prior roles as chairman and chief executive officer of Shearer’s Foods, CEO of Sara Lee North America and vice president of colas at PepsiCo, Inc.

Mr. Burgett and Mr. Fraleigh are joined on the leadership team by Richard G. Scalise, a partner. Mr. Scalise’s career includes prior roles as chairman and CEO of Hearthside Food Solutions, president of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, and president and chief operating officer of Conagra’s Refrigerated Foods Division. Mr. Burgett, Mr. Fraleigh and Mr. Scalise previously partnered together on several successful private equity investments.

In addition to Organic Milling, Fund I previously invested in five platform investments, including Charcuterie Artisans (a producer of charcuterie and meats), Salm Partners (the largest US manufacturer of fully cooked sausages utilizing a differentiated, co-extrusion, cook-in-package manufacturing process), Sara Lee Frozen Bakery (a provider of frozen baked foods), World Food Holdings (a provider of authentic Mediterranean foods), and Ya Ya Foods (one of North America’s largest co-packers of aseptic food and beverage products). 

“I sought out Mark and the e2p team for a third time because of their deep expertise in contract manufacturing and the reliability they’ve shown as a partner to employees, customers and the Grand Rapids community,” Mr. Roskam said. “For the past 100 years, my family has grown Roskam into a food manufacturing company with an industry-leading reputation for quality and reliability. I am confident e2p is the best partner to carry on our culture of excellence and long legacy of unmatched customer satisfaction.”