Home Private Equity AUA Private Equity acquires Weaver Popcorn

AUA Private Equity acquires Weaver Popcorn

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WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — AUA Private Equity Partners has acquired Weaver Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer of popcorn and snacks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1928 by Ira Weaver, Van Buren, Ind.-based Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is the largest independent maker of popcorn products in the United States, according to the company. The company produces and co-packs popping corn, microwave popcorn and ready-to-eat popcorn, including under the Pop Weaver brand. Last April, Weaver sold two popcorn manufacturing plants in Bethlehem, Pa., and Whitestown, Ind., to The Hershey Co.

“Our partnership with the Weaver family and Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is emblematic of what AUA Private Equity does best — partnering with family-owned businesses to take them to the next level,” said Andy Unanue, managing partner of AUA Private Equity. “We will proactively focus on operational upside by supporting the team with capital and resources while preserving Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing’s entrepreneurial and solution-oriented culture. We are eager to continue building upon the company’s ongoing success.”

David Benyaminy, partner of AUA Private Equity, added, “We see tremendous opportunity to help Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing expand, and the company possesses all of the necessary attributes to accelerate its success: an excellent management team, an engaged and aligned family-owner, and a flexible capital structure. Our plan is to make this a best-in-class partner for customers and all their snacking needs.”

Jason Kashman, chief executive officer of Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, said the company was “thrilled” to partner with AUA Private Equity, noting the firm and its team have “a demonstrated history of success in food manufacturing and helping to propel the growth of family-owned businesses.”

“By building on the foundation that the Weaver family put in place, AUA Private Equity will allow us to expand our capabilities operationally and increase the pace of product innovation,” Kashman said. “The resources that AUA Private Equity brings will ultimately benefit our customers and associates at Weaver. We are excited to join the AUA Private Equity family.”

To help facilitate change at Weaver, AUA Private Equity said Mike Tracy, formerly senior vice president of supply chain at Conagra Brands, Inc., and Tex Schouten, formerly president of TruFood Manufacturing, have been named to the company’s board of directors.

“Both individuals will help oversee the investment and augment governance,” said Charlie DeVries, vice president of AUA Private Equity.

AUA Private Equity is a lower middle-market investment firm that provides capital to companies in the consumer products and services sectors with a particular focus on family-owned business. The firm said it typically makes equity investments of $40 million to $100 million in companies that generate in excess of $10 million in EBITDA. In addition to Weaver Holdings, AUA has an investment stake inEpic Baking Co., bistroMD, Gourmet Culinary Partners, Raymundos Food Group and Tijuana Flats Restaurant Group.

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