BOSTON — Audax Private Equity has acquired a controlling interest in Stonewall Kitchen from Centre Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Stonewall Kitchen manufactures branded specialty food and gift products, including jams, olive oils, bottled sauces, crackers and pancake mixes. The York, Maine-based company’s portfolio consists of the flagship Stonewall Kitchen brand; Tillen Farms pickled vegetables and cocktail cherries; Napa Valley Naturals olive oils, culinary oils, balsamic vinegars and wine vinegars; Montebello organic pasta; and the Legal Sea Foods brand of seafood, sauces and condiments. The company has more than 6,000 wholesale accounts nationwide and internationally, an online direct-to-consumer business, nine company stores in New England and a flagship campus featuring a store, cafe and cooking school in York.
The company will continue to be led by John Stiker, chief executive officer; Lori King, president and chief operating officer; and Natalie King, executive vice-president.
Stonewall Kitchen initially partnered with private investment firm Centre Partners in 2014.
The company completed several acquisitions during the five-year partnership, extending into new product categories and nearly doubling in size.
“This is an exciting time for Stonewall Kitchen,” Mr. Stiker said. “We’ve experienced a significant amount of growth over the last five years and, by partnering with Audax, we’ll look to provide even more innovative, high-quality, and delicious products for our customers and guests as we continue to grow going forward. Alongside Audax, we will be looking to continue our acquisition efforts while also growing our heritage Stonewall Kitchen brand.”
Jay Mitchell, managing director at the Audax Group, said Stonewall Kitchen’s culture and practices make it a good fit for the New England-based private equity firm.
“We believe that our buy and build investment strategy, combined with their expertise in the specialty food industry, can transform the company,” he said.