CORE Industrial Partners LLC (“CORE”), a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced recently that it has acquired J&K Ingredients Corp, (“J&K Ingredients” or the “Company”), a manufacturer of baked goods ingredients with an emphasis on natural, organic and clean label products.
Founded in 1899, J&K Ingredients developed the bakery industry’s first natural mold inhibitor more than four decades ago and remains at the forefront of natural mold inhibitor innovation, custom formulation, and manufacturing. Natural mold inhibitors enhance taste, texture, aroma, consistency, and shelf life while providing a clean label alternative to artificial chemical preservatives. The Company’s signature product lines include Bred-Mate, Rice-Mate and more recently, SOR-Mate, the first fruit-based natural replacement for sorbic acid and potassium sorbate.
Beyond its broadly recognized natural mold inhibitor product lines, the Company’s total bakery ingredients offering spans more than 400 items across 13 categories, including bread and roll bases, dough conditioners, milk replacers, flavors, emulsions and stabilizers, among other categories. The Company serves some of the largest and most demanding global bakery customers as well as hundreds of other commercial bakeries and bakery product wholesalers and distributors. Operating three facilities in Paterson, New Jersey, J&K Ingredients holds FDA, Halal, Kosher, FSSC 22000, and organic certifications.
John May, managing partner of CORE, said, “J&K is a pioneer in the development of on-trend, clean label ingredients. The food industry continues to covert to clean label ingredients in response to consumer demand, and we believe J&K is well-positioned to benefit from this powerful tailwind given its scalable operations, broad portfolio of products and in-house ability to innovate and develop new formulations through its cutting-edge R&D lab.”
Matthew Puglisi, partner of CORE, said, “Beyond anticipated industry growth from brand and retailer conversion to natural, organic and clean label ingredients, we’ve identified numerous opportunities to accelerate organic growth in the business, including rapid commercialization of recently developed new products. We’ll work to augment these compelling organic growth initiatives with strategic acquisitions to expand the Company’s customer base, product offering and end market reach.”
Jim Sausville, president of J&K Ingredients said, “As a fourth-generation owner of a family business proudly tracing its founding back to the 19th century, I was looking for the perfect partner that could provide the resources and support to execute substantial growth opportunities while respecting our unique history, culture and values. CORE is the ideal fit, and on behalf of all J&K Ingredients employees, we’re excited to kick off this next phase of Company growth.”
Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal representation to CORE in the transaction. Cole Schotz P.C. represented J&K Ingredients Corp. (“J&K”), a leading manufacturer of bakery ingredients, in its acquisition by CORE Industrial Partners LLC (“CORE”).
J&K is a New Jersey-based manufacturer for the baking industry in the United States and throughout the world. Based out of Chicago, CORE is a private equity firm investing in North American lower middle-market industrial technology and manufacturing businesses. Cole Schotz’ representation of J&K included negotiation of an equity purchase agreement and all aspects of the sale and pre-closing structuring.