Fengate Private Equity, a division of Fengate Asset Management, announced it has completed the acquisition of Saco Foods Holdings, LLC from Benford Capital Partners. Fengate is partnering with Weathervane Investment Corp. to support continued growth of the company, and is managing this investment on behalf of the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.

This acquisition represents the first U.S. platform investment for Fengate Private Equity. The existing management team, led by CEO Tom Walzer, will continue to retain equity interest in the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Saco was founded in 1973 by Ray Sanna. The Sanna family sold the company to Tom Walzer in 2014, who then recapitalized the business in partnership with Benford Capital Partners in 2016. Saco has grown into a diversified and expanding portfolio of shelf-stable food brands: Dolci Frutta chocolate coatings; California Sun Dry sun-dried tomato food products; Saco Pantry instant dry milk products and baking ingredients; Solo Foods toppings, pastes and fillings; and Hoosier Hill Farm online and direct-to-consumer food offerings.

“We are excited to back Tom and his team, who have built a strong portfolio of leading brands that sit at the intersection of quality, heritage and convenience,” says Jennifer Pereira, managing director, group head of private equity at Fengate. “In the food and beverage sector, Saco is an excellent fit with our strategy of backing strong management teams and investing in trusted and enduring products with ample whitespace for growth.”

Pereira adds, “Alongside our partners at Weathervane and management, we look forward to supporting the continued growth of the company’s existing brands through new product innovation, expanding into new categories and channels, and further building the platform through acquisitions. This also marks our first private equity investment in the U.S. and we look forward to growing our presence across North America.”