ConAgra sells Lightlife Foods

Private equity firm scoops up brand of vegetarian burgers, hot dogs and other meatless frozen and refrigerated items.

Brynwood Partners VI L.P. announced that its newly formed portfolio company, Lightlife Foods Inc., has acquired Lightlife®, one of ConAgra Foods' smaller brands with product lines that include vegetarian-based burgers, hotdogs and other meatless frozen and refrigerated items. The acquisition includes the Lightlife manufacturing operation in Turners Falls, Mass. Terms and conditions of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.

Lightlife Foods will be headquartered in the Boston are,a and its manufacturing facility will continue to be located in Turners Falls, Mass. The new company looks forward to continuing to utilize the facility to support the manufacturing needs of the business.

Lightlife, a healthy eating brand that was founded more than 34 years ago, is a leader in the meat alternative category. As part of this transaction, Brynwood VI announced the appointments of Roy Lubetkin as president and CEO and Michael Morin as CFO of the company. Before joining Lightlife Foods, Mr. Lubetkin served as CEO of Sun Country Foods, Inc., a successful Brynwood VI portfolio company that was divested in 2012, and prior to that served as CEO of Backyard Farms, LLC. Mr. Morin most recently served as CFO of Sun Country Foods and prior to that held the position of CFO of Richelieu Foods, Inc., a successful Brynwood Partners V L.P. portfolio company that was divested in 2010.

"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Lightlife and its manufacturing facility from ConAgra Foods," said Henk Hartong III, senior managing partner, Brynwood VI. "Lightlife is a well-known brand with excellent nutritional and wellness attributes. Lightlife has a very loyal consumer following and customer base. We look forward to investing in Lightlife Foods and extending the company's refrigerated and frozen meatless offerings."

Brynwood Partners has now completed 38 brand acquisitions from 15 different corporate sellers. The Lightlife acquisition is Brynwood Partners' first transaction with ConAgra Foods. Brynwood Partners has a strong investment track record in the food space with active investments including:

  • DeMet's Candy Co. (Brynwood V portfolio company), a leading U.S.-based chocolate confectionery company manufacturing and marketing the Turtles®, Flipz® and Treasures® brands.
  • Back to Nature Foods Co. LLC (Brynwood VI portfolio company), a marketer of natural food products including crackers, cookies, nuts and granola.
  • Pearson Candy Co. (Brynwood VI portfolio company), a manufacturer and marketer of widely recognized confectionery brands including Pearson's® Salted Nut Roll, Pearson's® Mint Patties, Pearson's® Nut Goodies, Pearson's® Bun and Bit-O-Honey®.

Prior investments by Brynwood Partners in the food space include Sun Country Foods, Balance Bar Co., Richelieu Foods, Lincoln Snacks Co. and Signature Snacks Co.


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