LOS ANGELES — Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has reached an agreement under which it will acquire Milk Specialties Global, a vertically integrated producer of dairy products. Butterfly, which focuses on the food business, is acquiring Milk Specialties from American Securities LLC, a private equity firm that has owned the dairy business since August 2016.
A human and animal nutrition company, Milk Specialties Global’s human nutrition business is a manufacturer of whey and milk protein ingredients used primarily in the sports nutrition and functional foods end markets. According to Butterfly, Milk Specialties is the largest producer of whey protein isolate in the world. Other products the company makes for human nutrition include whey protein concentrates, hydrolysates, milk protein concentrates, isolates and micellar casein, lactose and permeate.
Its animal nutrition business offers products for the dairy industry.
Milk Specialties was established in 1949 and is based in Eden Prairie, Minn. The company operates 12 production facilities spread across the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, Idaho and California.
Its products are used in a wide variety of end products, including bars; confectionery; frozen desserts; beverages; extruded and texturized products; fermented dairy products; baked foods; and cheese and soups, sauces and dressings.
The company has been led for the past 14 years by David Lenzmeier as chief executive officer. He will continue in that role under the new ownership, Butterfly said.
“We’re confident that Milk Specialties’ industry leadership and best-in-class team, combined with our expertise in the space, will enable us to drive even greater success for the business going forward,” said Butterfly co-founders and co-CEOs Adam Waglay and Dustin Beck. “We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.”
Established in 2016, Butterfly’s portfolio companies include Chosen Foods, MaryRuth Organics, Pete and Gerry’s Organics, Orgain, Bolthouse Farms, Pacifico Aquaculture and Modern Restaurant Concepts. To date, Butterfly has invested more than $10 billion of equity capital.
Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, were not disclosed.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, and Rabo Securities USA, Inc. acted as financial advisers to Milk Specialties.