Toronto, Ontario – TorQuest Partners announced today that it has acquired all of the operating subsidiaries of Associated Brands Income Fund (TSX: ABF.UN), leading North American manufacturer of private-label dry blend food products.
The proceeds of the sale will be paid to the Fund’s unitholders by way of the redemption of the outstanding Fund units at a cash redemption price of $0.82 per unit. Following the redemption of the outstanding Fund units, Associated Brands will cease to be a reporting issuer and will be delisted from the TSX. The transaction received unanimous support by the Board of Trustees and was approved by more than 66 2/3% of all unitholders and a majority of the minority of voters.
Associated Brands is a leading North American manufacturer and supplier of private-label dry blend food and household products, selling to supermarket retailers, mass merchandisers and branded consumer goods companies. Associated Brands’ principal focus is on manufacturing dry blend food products such as flavoured drink mixes, iced tea, hot chocolate drinks, dessert mixes, soups, bouillon, side dishes and sweeteners. Household products produced by Associated Brands include J‑Cloth branded reusable towels, plastic food wrap, sandwich, storage and freezer bags and fabric dyes. Associated operates two primary manufacturing facilities in each of the US and Canada.
TorQuest originally invested in Associated Brands through an exchangeable debenture in November 2005. As a result of that investment, TorQuest has been closely following Associated Brands for the last 18 months through TorQuest’s Board representation.
“Going private under TorQuest’s leadership was an important and positive step in the evolution of Associated Brands. Associated’s turnaround had been hampered by an overlevered balance sheet and limited access to capital to reinvest in the business. Partnering with TorQuest will provide us with the stability we need to continue to improve our financial performance and deliver high quality products to our retailer customers,” said Morris Perlis, Executive Chairman.
“TorQuest has invested in Associated Brands based on its strong customer base, diverse portfolio of stable products, strong recent sales momentum, and opportunities for efficiency enhancements and related acquisitions. We look forward to working with Morris and his team to continue to grow the business,” commented Daniel Sonshine, a Principal at TorQuest.
Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners, Inc. is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than C$700 million of equity capital under management TorQuest seeks to pursue investments in middle market and later stage companies with the goal of building value through opportune acquisitions, strategic leadership and the timely use of financial expertise.
Associated Brands is a leading North American manufacturer and supplier of private-label dry-blend food products and household products. Since beginning operations in 1985, Associated Brands has grown to become one of the three largest suppliers of a diverse range of private-label dry-blend food products in North America, producing over eleven million cases annually across multiple product categories currently sold to 45 of the 50 largest North American food retailers.