LOS ANGELES — Private equity firm VMG Partners is acquiring the Popchips brand of popped snacks under its new branded snacking platform, Velocity Snack Brands. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Velocity Snack Brands was established to acquire, incubate and grow a portfolio of snack businesses across salty, sweet and nutrition bar categories. It will be headquartered in Los Angeles and led by Amit Pandhi, who most recently was president and chief executive officer of reduced-calorie frozen dessert brand Arctic Zero.
Founded in 2007, Popchips offers a line of products that are sold in more than 30,000 stores across North America. The business most recently was owned by Verlinvest, a private investment group that, along with the Popchips board of directors, agreed to sell it to VMG Partners.
“The Popchips brand is the perfect anchor for our platform with its strong brand awareness and broad consumer appeal amongst those seeking healthy snacks,” said Jon Marshall, vice-president at VMG Partners.
Since its founding in 2005, San Francisco-based VMG Partners has partnered with entrepreneurs, founders and management teams of nearly 40 branded consumer products companies and has experience in investing, scaling and exiting consumer packaged goods businesses. VMG Partners said its new platform will match the dynamism and flexibility of start-ups while providing the expertise and resources of a larger, more corporate entity.
“Building platforms in categories where VMG has been actively investing for nearly 15 years has been something we have been contemplating for some time, and we are thrilled to kick off our first consumer products platform with Popchips as a partner,” said Wayne Wu, general partner at VMG Partners.
Mr. Pandhi will lead the Popchips brand. As the platform builds additional scale, he will provide execution and support to the brands, entrepreneurs and founders in the Velocity Snack Brands portfolio.
“Amit is an enthusiastic, thoughtful and detail-oriented leader who brings tremendous experience across brand building, leadership and investing,” Mr. Marshall said.