Private equity fund acquires Lightlife Foods

by Keith Nunes
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GREENWICH, CONN. — Brynwood Partners VI L.P. has acquired Lightlife Foods, Inc. from ConAgra Foods, Omaha. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

Lightlife Foods is a manufacturer of meatless frozen and refrigerated foods. As part of the agreement, Brynwood Partners is also acquiring the Lightlife manufacturing plant in Turners Falls, Mass.

Roy Lubetkin has been named president and chief executive officer of Lightlife Foods, and Michael Morin has been appointed chief financial officer by Brynwood Partners. Before joining Lightlife Foods, Mr. Lubetkin was c.e.o. of Sun Country Foods, Inc. Mr. Morin most recently was c.f.o. of Sun Country Foods.

“Lightlife is a well-known brand with excellent nutritional and wellness attributes. Lightlife has a very loyal consumer following and customer base,” said Henk Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood Partners. “We look forward to investing in Lightlife Foods and extending the company's refrigerated and frozen meatless offerings.”

Click the infographic to learn why consumers choose or pass on meat alternatives.

Brynwood Partners has a variety of food companies within its portfolio, including Back to Nature Foods Company L.L.C., DeMet’s Candy Co., and the Pearson Candy Co. Prior investments in the food sector include companies such as Sun Country Foods, the Balance Bar Company, Richelieu Foods, Lincoln Snacks Company, and the Signature Snacks Company.

A recent report from Mintel International, Chicago, highlights the potential of the meatless market. For example, according to the market research firm more than a third of consumers eat meat substitutes, but only 7% identify as vegetarian. And Mintel noted health perception is key to the category as more than half of consumers who eat meatless products believe it is better for them than meat products.

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