Interest Sale to Solera Capital LLC
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray,
a leading mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor, served as exclusive
financial advisor to Annie's Homegrown, Inc. (Annie's) in a sale of a majority
interest in the company to Solera Capital LLC, a private equity firm based in
New York. Prior to the closing of the transaction, the majority interest in
Annie's was owned by Homegrown Natural Foods, Inc., owner of Consorzio and
Fantastic Foods brands. Annie's founder (Ann Withey), Homegrown Natural Foods
and Annie's management will retain minority interests in the company. In
addition to the majority stake it acquired at closing, Solera Capital plans to
invest incremental growth capital into Annie's post-transaction. The
transaction was completed on August 9, 2002.
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Wakefield, Mass., Annie's Homegrown
is the preeminent and fastest growing brand in the premium-pasta-meals
category. The company's portfolio includes over 25 different varieties of
natural and organic pasta meals. Annie's has reported a 27 percent compound-
annual-growth-rate in sales over the past three years and, according to
industry research, the natural/organic food industry is projected to grow at
double-digit rates annually over the next several years. Annie's has attracted
an intensely loyal consumer base by providing premium natural and organic
pasta products that connect with consumers on a functional, emotional and
Annie's is the preeminent brand in the natural and organic macaroni-and-
cheese category, said Glenn Gurtcheff, managing director and co-head of the
Middle Market M&A Group at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
Without question, the
company is poised to capitalize on an outstanding market opportunity.
Solera Capital is an ideal partner for Annie's, said Jon Kelly,
investment banker in the Middle Market M&A Group at U.S. Bancorp Piper
Solera has the resources to further expand the company's
distribution in the mainstream grocery channel and also truly appreciates the
importance of the brand's grassroots authenticity.
Natural foods are growing considerably faster than the overall food
industry, said John Foraker, CEO of Homegrown Natural Foods.
Fantastic Foods and Consorzio are strong brand names that consumers trust and
all have tremendous potential in this dynamic market. In addition to
providing new capital and resources to Annie's, this transaction enables
Homegrown Natural Foods to focus its resources on continuing the growth of its
Consorzio and Fantastic Foods brands, and provides capital necessary for us to
pursue other complementary acquisitions in the natural food industry.
About U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray:
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), provides a full range of investment products and
services to businesses, institutions and individuals. The company's investment
banking business has grown significantly in the last several years by focusing
on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology, financial
institutions, consumer and manufacturing and services sectors. U.S. Bancorp
Piper Jaffray has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental
research, equity and debt financing and mergers and acquisitions advisory.
U.S. Bancorp offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions through U.S.
Bank, U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Investments and U.S. Bancorp
Nondeposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC, are not
deposits or other obligations of or guaranteed by U.S. Bank National
Association or its affiliates, and involve investment risks, including
possible loss of the principal amount invested. Securities products and
services are offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., member SIPC and
NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. (5/99-0679)
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SOURCE U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
/CONTACT: Dana Wade, Public Relations of U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray,
/Web site: http://www.piperjaffray.com /
CO: U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray; Annie's Homegrown, Inc.; Solera Capital LLC;
Homegrown Natural Foods, Inc.
ST: Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts
IN: FIN FOD OTC
-- MNM017 --
0123 08/26/2002 15:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com