LNK Partners, a leading consumer-focused private equity firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Niman Ranch, together with its parent company Natural Food Holdings, to Perdue Farms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. LNK originally partnered with NFH management to recapitalize the company in June 2011.
Natural Food Holdings is a leading manufacturer and marketer of all-natural fresh and prepared protein products, primarily pork. The company's Niman Ranch flagship brand is the premier all-natural brand of pork, beef and lamb that is antibiotic free, hormone free, and raised humanely and sustainably through a network of U.S. family farms.
During LNK and management's ownership, the Niman Ranch brand grew rapidly, expanding into new geographic markets, new distribution channels and new product lines, all while remaining true to the core values and authenticity of the brand.
David Landau, a partner of LNK, said, "It has been a privilege for LNK to partner with the NFH team in building Niman Ranch into one of the defining brands in the farm-to-fork movement. This sale represents an excellent result for our investors as well as a terrific outcome for the NFH team and the Niman Ranch brand, which have found a great long-term home at Perdue."
Phil Marineau, a partner of LNK, added, "Over the course of our investment, the Niman Ranch brand has nearly doubled while remaining true to its humane approach and natural practices and supporting more than 700 U.S. family farms. We are proud that LNK was able to support the NFH team in this process."
Jeff Swain, CEO of NFH, said, "The LNK team has been an extraordinary partner in building the Niman Ranch business, supporting all of the investments we have made in the brand and the infrastructure required to support it, and never pushing us to sacrifice any of our core tenets for the sake of short-term growth or profitability. They have been tremendous stewards of the Niman Ranch brand and we are excited to see the baton pass on to Perdue."
"We believe Perdue is the ideal partner to continue the growth of Niman Ranch while also preserving its core brand principles," said Mark Garth, CFO and senior vice president at Perdue Farms. "LNK and the NFH management team have done a terrific job with the brand to date, and we take great pride in being owners of the brand going forward. We are excited to invest in its continued growth for years to come."
Natural Food Holdings was advised by Houlihan Lokey and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Perdue Farms was advised by Moelis & Co. and Venable LLP.