CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co., through its PearlRock Partners venture, is collaborating with MidOcean Partners, a middle market private equity company, to form MPearlRock, a firm that will help scale emerging brands.
The MPearlRock initiative will combine MidOcean’s investing capabilities with Kroger’s retail and consumer packaged goods experience, including the insights generated by 84.51º, Kroger’s market research arm. Brian Kelley, the chief executive of PearlRock, will lead the partnership.
“We believe the strategic pairing of MidOcean’s capabilities with Kroger, robust data science and consumer insights capabilities, and deep industry relationships will create an unrivaled collaboration to support the leading brands of tomorrow,” said Erik Oken, chairman of MidOcean Partners. “We look forward to working together to capture the pipeline of opportunities we see before us.”
Food-related companies currently within MidOcean’s investment portfolio include Casper’s Ice Cream, Florida Food Products, Louisiana Fish Fry and QualiTech.
Kroger launched PearlRock Partners in 2019 in partnership with Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm.
“As consumers look to engage with more personalized, entrepreneurial products, we believe MPearlRock is well positioned to source investment opportunities in innovative CPG brands and deliver the foundational resources these brands require to meaningfully grow,” Kelley said. “We are confident that the experience and resources of our trusted collaborators, MidOcean and Kroger, will enable MPearlRock to make superior investment decisions across the CPG sector."