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Wind Point Partners Acquires Evans Food Group

April 17, 2016

High protein and low carb consumer diet trends have driven a flurry of deals involving meat jerky companies, but could pork rinds be next?

Private equity firm, Wind Point Partners announced it has agreed in partnership with PepsiCo executive Jose Luis Prado, to acquire Chicago-based Evans Food Group, maker of branded and private label pork rinds and salty snacks for an undisclosed amount.

Prado has 30 years of experience in global snacks serving as president and CEO of PepsiCo’s Mexican unit – Grupo Gamesa-Quaker, and as president of Quaker Oats North America at PepsiCo. Under the terms of the deal, Prado will take over the roles of chairman and CEO at Evans, while company co-founder and chairman, Alejandro Silva, will serve on the board of directors.

“I am delighted to join the Evans team and partner with Wind Point to take this business to the next level and create value for our customers,” said Prado in a recent press release. “I believe that Evans’ preferred products, advantaged manufacturing footprint, solid portfolio of national and regional brands, great team and partnership with Wind Point will enable us to pursue a wide array of domestic and international opportunities.”

Founded in 1985, Evans Food Group produces popular pork rinds brands including Mac’s, Porkies, and La Tonitaat its five production facilities in Chicago, Arlington, Texas, Portsmouth, Ohio, Ontario, California, and Saltillo, Mexico. The group has a presence throughout the U.S. and Canada, and throughout 13 Latin American and Asian markets.

Although they can be divisive and have been in and out of favor over the years, salty meat snacks have grown in popularity with consumers who are following low carb or gluten-free diets. And last year, the salty snacks category saw 3.5% growth as a whole, according to Food Dive. This trend has driven a recent flurry of deals within the meat jerky segment, which could translate to increased activity within the pork rinds segment as well.

Other recent food investments completed by Wind Point include Gehl Foods in March 2015, Shearer’s, which the group sold to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in January 2015, Hearthside Food Solution, which it sold Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital in June 2014, Rupari Foods, acquired in July 2011, and Nonni’s acquired in February 2011.

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