NEW YORK — MidOcean Partners, a New York-based alternative asset manager specializing in middle-market private equity and alternative credit investments, has acquired Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Inc. from an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1982, Louisiana Fish Fry makes a range of products, including spices and seasonings, seafood boils, breadings and batters, sauces and marinades, and rice mixes. The company’s products are sold in grocery and mass market retailers as well as foodservice outlets nationwide.
An affiliate of Peak Rock acquired Louisiana Fish Fry in 2018 from the family of the founding shareholders. During Peak Rock’s ownership, Louisiana Fish Fry undertook a transition from family to institutional ownership, including a series of transformational growth and operational initiatives that have contributed to the company’s success. Additionally, Louisiana Fish Fry has invested in the development and scale of its organization, opening new distribution facilities and organically increasing its employee base by more than 75%, enabling the business to support increasing demand.
“We are excited to partner with MidOcean to continue driving outsized growth for Louisiana Fish Fry,” said Michael Morse, president and chief executive officer of Louisiana Fish Fry. “MidOcean has an impressive track record in executing transformational growth. Their partnership, expertise and industry knowledge will enable us to dedicate our focus to key areas of our strategy, such as investment in our people and organic sales growth, which will come from expanded distribution and product development. We look forward to better serving our customers and end consumers while expanding into new markets.”
Daniel Penn, managing director at MidOcean, said the private equity firm has been evaluating opportunities in the branded food category for a number of years.
“(We are) thrilled to partner with Louisiana Fish Fry’s exceptional management team for the company’s next phase of growth,” Mr. Penn said. “Our focus in this sector has been in partnership with DJ Jenson, a MidOcean operating partner with over 30 years of expertise in the industry and who will serve as chairman of the Louisiana Fish Fry board. Joining DJ on the board will be two of our other world-class operating partners, Tony DeLio and Lisa Mann, both of whom have highly relevant branded food experience, as well as Dave Moran, a longtime industry executive and investor.”
MidOcean’s current portfolio includes Florida Food Products, a manufacturer of healthy, natural, clean label ingredients. Past investments include Jenny Craig, Sbarro and South Beach Diet.
Commenting on its ownership of Louisiana Fish Fry over the past three years, Robert Strauss, managing director of Peak Rock, said, “It has been a great pleasure working with the LFF management team over the last three years. In partnership with Peak Rock, LFF has made significant investments across the organization, accelerated the company’s new product innovation efforts, achieved significant distribution gains, and continued to expand Louisiana Fish Fry’s brand awareness, all of which have driven strong sales growth and positioned the company for long-term success.”