Advent International, a global private equity investor, announced that Sovos Brands, a new company formed by Advent, has completed the acquisition of Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods Inc., a producer of premium, authentic frozen Italian entrées. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Michael Angelo's is the first investment by Sovos Brands, a new type of food and beverage company that seeks to acquire and build one-of-a-kind brands to establish a scale player in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and led by seasoned CPG executives, Sovos Brands will focus on high-quality brands in on-trend categories with the potential to accelerate growth by investing in distribution, marketing, production and product innovation. The company, whose name is inspired by the Latin term sovos, which means unique or one of a kind, has a distinctive approach to people and brands, working to ensure that both can really thrive.
Spearheading the acquisition and value creation initiatives at Sovos Brands will be a team headed by Todd Lachman, President and CEO, Larry Bodner, CFO, and Bill Johnson, Chairman. Mr. Lachman has a 25-year record of delivering growth and value creation as a senior executive at major consumer products companies, including Mars, Del Monte Foods, H.J. Heinz and Procter & Gamble. Mr. Bodner has over 25 years of experience as a performance-driven, operationally focused financial executive at companies including Big Heart Pet Brands, Del Monte Foods, Walt Disney and Procter & Gamble. Mr. Johnson was formerly chairman, CEO and president of H.J. Heinz. He had a distinguished 31-year career at Heinz, where he grew top- and bottom-line results across multiple segments to transform the company into a global food industry leader.
Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods is a family-owned and operated business with a passion for quality and talent for making authentic Italian prepared meals. Chairman and CEO Michael Angelo and his mother Sara have been cooking Italian food the right way for years, bringing traditional Italian cooking methods and flavors to a full line of single-serve and multi-serve meals found in the freezer sections. All products are made from scratch in small batches using the highest-quality, fresh ingredients, and are "clean label" with no fillers or preservatives. As Michael likes to say, "If you can't find it in Mom's kitchen, you won't find it in our food."
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Michael Angelo's has grown organically from a small, regional business to a national prepared meal brand, generating approximately $100 million in gross sales. The company's meals are available at grocery stores, natural food stores and warehouse club stores nationwide.
"Michael Angelo's is a highly authentic, great-tasting, frozen Italian entrée brand well respected in the industry for its clean-label offering," said Todd Lachman, President and CEO of Sovos Brands. "The company exemplifies the types of businesses we are looking to acquire in the food and beverage space. It is a unique, leading branded player offering delicious food that meets today's lifestyle and consumer demand for real, clean ingredients. We believe Michael Angelo's has significant potential for growth through increased awareness, distribution and new product development, and we look forward to working with Michael Angelo and the management team to pursue these opportunities."
Michael Angelo, Chairman and CEO of Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods, said, "Our new partnership with Sovos Brands represents a perfect fit for our company. Sovos Brands is a lean, nimble organization led by experienced industry executives who share our long-term vision for the business. With their investments in production, distribution and product innovation, we believe we can accelerate Michael Angelo's growth and continue our mission of creating the highest-quality Italian entrées in the freezer aisle. I look forward to partnering with Todd Lachman and his team on Michael Angelo's next stage of development."
David Roberts, a Principal at Advent International, said, "The acquisition of Michael Angelo's is an important first step in our plan to build a food and beverage company of significant scale. Advent and the team at Sovos Brands will focus on supporting Michael Angelo's expansion while pursuing acquisitions of other high-potential businesses from founders, financial sponsors and large CPG companies."
Advent International has significant investment experience in the retail, consumer and leisure industry. Over the past 26 years, the firm has invested in more than 70 companies in the sector across 20 countries worldwide. Recent North American investments include Noosa Yoghurt, lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Serta Simmons Bedding, Party City (NYSE: PRTY), Bojangles' (NASDAQ: BOJA) and Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE).
Piper Jaffray served as financial advisor and The Giannuzzi Group served as legal advisor to Michael Angelo's on the transaction. Deutsche Bank served as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal advisor to Advent International.