Highlander Partners, a middle market private investment firm, through its newly formed food platform, Benestar Brands, has announced the acquisition of Evans Food Group from Wind Point Partners. Evans is a producer of pork rinds with five manufacturing operations in the United States and one in Saltillo, Mexico. Headquartered in Chicago, Evans is an international producer of branded, co-packed, and private label pork rinds.
Highlander has been working closely with Carl Lee, Jr., who previously served as president and CEO of Snyder’s-Lance Inc before it was sold to Campbell Soup for over $6 billion in 2018. Lee will assume the president and CEO position at Benestar and lead the company and the Evans operations going forward. Jeff Partridge, managing director at Highlander, will serve as chairman of Benestar, while Jose Prado, Evans’ previous chairman and CEO, will join Benestar as vice chairman.
“This acquisition affirms Highlander’s focus on investing in high-quality, branded consumer product companies, including food. We have been diligent in targeting attractive brands with our consumer and food team and it is not every day that an asset like this is available. We are thrilled to acquire Evans and to assist in its growth trajectory,” said Jeff Hull, president and CEO of Highlander. “I am also excited about the potential of Benestar executing a ‘buy and build’ strategy in the snack food industry, as we target companies with strong growth potential and excellent brand equity.”