Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, has acquired Palmex S. de R.L. de C.V., a manufacturer of better-for-you and Hispanic snack pellets for salty snacks based in Monterrey, Mexico. The acquisition will serve as a platform to build a North American business-to-business salty snack manufacturer in the BFY and Hispanic segments.
Snack pellets are the intermediate form in many salty snack products, including veggie sticks or straws, three dimensional snacks, food carriers, wavy snacks and other unique forms. The company produces a broad portfolio of wheat, corn and potato-based snack pellets that are sold to large consumer packaged goods companies, regional manufacturers, distributors, and “mom-and-pop” retailers across Latin American and the United States. Palmex operates two well-invested safe quality manufacturing (“SQF”) facilities.
Wind Point is partnering with Executive Advisor Partner (“EAP”) Jose Luis Prado, who will serve as executive chair of Palmex. Mr. Prado is the former CEO of Evans Food Group, a Wind Point portfolio company sold in 2019, and previously spent 30 years with PepsiCo leading snack businesses in the U.S. and Latin America. Wind Point is also partnering with current Palmex management, including CEO Carlos Sanchez and an experienced team of senior leaders who have all been with the business for several years. Palmex is an established market leader in snack pellets in Latin America. The partnership between Wind Point and Palmex will prioritize continued market leadership and growth in core markets, as well as accelerated growth through innovation and new investment to greatly expand the company’s U.S. presence both organically and through acquisitions.
Mr. Prado commented, “I am delighted to partner with Wind Point once again and acquire another leading food business with a Hispanic focus. Palmex has built a tremendous market position in Latin America. The founders and management should be commended. I am excited to leverage my experiences at PepsiCo and also Evans, which had a similar product line and footprint, to work closely with Palmex management to accelerate growth across North America.”
Joe Lawler, managing director at Wind Point, noted, “The market for pellet-based salty snacks is attractive as it’s both large and growing nearly two times the rate of the broader category. We are excited about the opportunity to build this platform through organic investment in more capacity and through acquisitions. It is a great fit for our strategy of acquiring market leading companies where we can add value through executive resources.
Wind Point is an active investor in the food and beverage sector, with select prior and current investments including good2grow, Tropicale Foods, Stir Foods, Gehl Food & Beverage, Nonni’s, FoodScience, Hearthside Food Solutions, and Evans Food Group.
Winston & Strawn LLP and Rich, Mueller and Nicolau, SC served as legal counsel to Wind Point. KPMG LLP provided transaction advisory services in connection with the transaction.