Castle Harlan Inc., a New York-based private equity firm, has announced the acquisition of Gold Star Foods Inc., a nutritional food distributor to K–12 schools in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The seller was the Chicago, Ill., private equity firm Prospect Partners.
Gold Star, based in Ontario, Canada, serves 380 school districts comprised of more than 3,500 schools, enabling them to provide students nutritional meals through federal and state programs for breakfasts and lunches that include program-approved healthy ingredients. Gold Star purchases products from more than 600 food manufacturers and farms and sells over 6,000 products of fresh bread and produce, as well as refrigerated, frozen, and dry menu items.
“Gold Star is a proven leader in the stable and moderately growing school food distribution market, and it promotes healthy nutritional meals to its customers,” said Bill Pruellage, Co-President of Castle Harlan. “Gold Star has the scale to acquire smaller competitors in a fragmented market, as well as to expand into newer territories, such as Northern California and other Western states, additional product lines, and new end-markets.”