CHICAGO — Arbor Investments, a middle-market private equity fund that invests in food, beverage and affiliated companies, has acquired a majority interest in Montreal-based Fontaine Santé Foods. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1990, Fontaine Santé Foods uses plant-based ingredients to manufacture hummus, refrigerated salsa and dips, tofu, pesto, salads and vegetable pates under brands such as Fontaine Santé, Garden Fresh Gourmet and Lantana. The company operates several manufacturing facilities and distribution centers.
“Fontaine Santé Foods is one of the largest, independent refrigerated food manufacturers in North America, and we have tremendous respect for the business that Max Latifi has built,” said Gregory Purcell, founder and chief executive officer of Arbor. “Mr. Latifi is a dynamic entrepreneur with an exceptional reputation, and Melissa (Latifi) is one of the finest CPG business leaders in the industry. We could not imagine a better fit with Arbor and our approach to turbo charging companies.”
Tim Fallon, senior operating partner at Arbor, added, “We’ve looked at a lot of businesses in the plant-based, healthy and better-for-you category. First and foremost, we’re taste investors and after trying the products we quickly realized why Fontaine Santé is the No. 1 branded hummus in Canada and Garden Fresh Gourmet is the top branded fresh salsa in the United States. Consumers vote with their mouths, and we believe these brands and products have an ownable taste differentiation to win in premium natural products.”
Mr. Latifi, chairman, and Melissa Latifi, president of Fontaine Santé Foods, will continue in their operating roles following the transaction.
“As we looked to accelerate our growth, especially in the United States, we had multiple options and interest, and we selected Arbor as the best partner for us,” Mr. Latifi said. “Their extensive experience in the food industry, combined with their in-house resources can help Fontaine Santé unlock new channels and opportunities. We’re excited to begin our next chapter of growth with Arbor.”
The transaction marks Arbor’s second platform investment out of its $1.5 billion Fund V, which the firm closed funding on in October 2020. The first platform investment took place last month when Arbor acquired Bradshaw Home.
Other investments currently within Arbor’s portfolio include The Bakery Cos., Nashville, Tenn., a manufacturer of bread, baked foods and dough products; Concord Foods, LLC, Brockton, Mass., a processor of retail products and custom ingredients; and Rubix Foods, Jacksonville, Fla., a supplier of dairy products and value-added ingredients to the foodservice industry; and several others.Past investments have included Columbus Meats, Gold Standard Baking, Fieldbrook Foods and the Pita Bread Factory.