The Montclair-based maker of wholesome snacks ParmCrisps and Thinsters has been sold.
On Dec. 13, investment firm Clearlake Capital Group LP announced it signed a definitive agreement to sell Proven Brands Inc. and KTB Foods Inc. – together Proven Brands, doing business as That’s How We Roll – to The Hain Celestial Group for approximately $259 million.
Clearlake acquired Proven Brands in 2014 and Kitchen Table Bakers – the makers of ParmCrisps – in 2016. According to the company, the brands’ revenue increased nearly six times under its ownership. And that’s not the only thing that’s grown.
The number of employees went from less than 10 to more than 250, with ParmCrisps and Thinsters ranked as the No. 1 and No. 3 brands, respectively, in their categories.
According to Clearlake, ParmCrips is positioned as the fastest-growing cheese crisp brand in the U.S.
Working with founder Aldo Zuppichini, Chief Executive Officer Sammy Kestenbaum, along with management and employees, under Clearlake’s purview new flavors and products were introduced, and distribution and manufacturing were also scaled up. Clearlake said that includes with a company-owned facility that was opened last year to optimize a proprietary manufacturing process, to accelerate multi-channel go-to-market capabilities, and to modernize branding with updated logos and packaging.
ParmCrips and Thinsters were a part of Clearlake’s Better For You Holdings platform, which sponsors providers of “better-for-you” snacks and beverages.
“We leveraged our firm’s significant experience in the consumer sector, and committed substantial operational and M&A resources to scale the Company through our O.P.S playbook,” Clearlake co-founders José Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali said. “Given our previous experience with Hain Celestial, who acquired our former portfolio company World Gourmet / Sensible Portions in 2010, we believe ParmCrisps and Thinsters have found a perfect home, and we look forward to the brands’ continued success under Hain.”
The deal represents the latest exit from the consumer sector of Clearlake’s portfolio. Other current and past investments there include such name-brands as From the Ground Up, Sensible Portions and CORE Hydration in the better-for-you food and beverage sector; Whimzees and Old Mother Hubbard in the pet food category; as well as the wellness sector’s Jacuzzi, and operating in the automotive aftermarket sector, American Racing and Fuel Off-Road.
Piper Sandler & Co. and BofA Securities served as financial advisors to Proven Brands and Hain Celestial, respectively. Sidley Austin LLP and Venable served as counsel to Clearlake and Hain, respectively.