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Evans Food Group Has Been Acquired by Highlander Partners

Monday, August 5, 2019

Evans has been acquired by Highlander

William Blair acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Evans Food Group (Evans), a portfolio company of Wind Point Partners, in connection with its sale to Highlander Partners. The transaction closed on August 2, 2019.

Transaction Highlights

  • Deep relationships and sector expertise: Evans recognized William Blair’s extensive knowledge and experience advising food and beverage companies, and first-call access to the most likely financial and strategic buyers.
  • M&A process and positioning excellence: William Blair designed and managed a competitive process with a broad group of potential acquirers, successfully positioning Evans as a scarce snacking platform of scale, which is driving the high growth pork rinds category through innovation. Other key positioning highlights included large household penetration potential, scaled presence in major channels, best-in-class customer education, proven M&A capabilities and world class management team built by CEO José Luis Prado. The company attracted significant buyer interest and the customized marketing effort resulted in a highly successful outcome for shareholders.
  • Trusted guidance: William Blair’s transaction team was integrally involved throughout each step of the transaction process, including close collaboration with management in developing marketing materials, coordinating due diligence with multiple parties, navigating significant macro uncertainties, and negotiating key contract terms.

About the Companies

Evans is an international producer of branded, co-packed, and private label pork rinds.  Its diverse branded portfolio includes Mac’s, its largest branded offering and the number one multi-outlet store brand for pork rinds in the U.S., alongside its other brands: Turkey Creek, Don Rudy, Caso de Oro, and Domingos.  Pork rinds are one of the fastest growing snack items, bolstered by the emerging interest of millennials to consume these products as a nutritional option.  Consumers have discovered that pork rinds or “chicharrónes” are a snack that is rich in protein, gluten-free and contains no carbohydrates. Evans was founded in 1932 and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

With the acquisition of Evans, Highlander Partners formed the food platform Benestar Brands. Carl Lee Jr., who previously served as President and CEO of Snyder’s-Lance Inc. before it was sold to Campbell Soup for over $6 billion in 2018, will assume the positions of President and CEO of Benestar. José Luis Prado will assume the position of Vice Chairman of Benestar.

Wind Point Partners is a Chicago-based private equity investment firm with approximately $2 billion in assets under management. The firm targets investments in the consumer products, industrial products, and business services sectors. Wind Point is currently investing out of Wind Point Partners VIII, a $985 million fund that was initiated in 2016.

Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private investment firm with over $2 billion of assets under management.  The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience, including basic manufacturing, food and beverage, chemicals, building materials, consumer products, and others.

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