AUA-backed Gourmet Culinary Partners Acquires Chicago-based Van-Lang Enterprises
New York, NY—January 16, 2020—AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC (“AUA Private Equity”) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Van-Lang Enterprises, Inc. (“Van-Lang”), a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres with national distribution and strong presence in the Midwest with self-distribution capabilities in the Chicago marketplace. Van-Lang serves luxury hotels, private clubs, specialty distributors, banquet houses, and caterers. The transaction was completed on behalf of AUA Private Equity portfolio company Gourmet Culinary Partners, LLC (“GCP”).
AUA Private Equity has completed four acquisitions in the specialty prepared foods segment with a focus on creating the leading manufacturer of appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, breakfast foods, side dishes, soups, sauces, and entrees for the hospitality, banquet, airline, retail, education, and corporate sectors. With the acquisition of Van-Lang, Gourmet Culinary Partners has created a national footprint that will allow the company to serve national accounts while still maintaining its high touch customer-centric approach at the local level through its four operating divisions.
On March 27, 2019, AUA Private Equity consummated a partnership under GCP, investing alongside the owners of Gourmet Kitchen, Inc. (“Gourmet Kitchen”). Thereafter, on April 25, 2019, AUA Private Equity completed its second investment for the GCP platform, partnering with the founders and senior management of Kabobs Holdings, LLC (“Kabobs”). Subsequently, on July 2, 2019, AUA Private Equity consummated the third of its acquisitions under GCP, acquiring Gourmet Foods, LLC (“Gourmet Foods”) in partnership with its owners.
Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Private Equity, commented: “We are excited to bring together four highly complementary industry leaders to create a national, end-to-end foodservice platform focused on the hospitality, restaurant, airline, catering, educational, and retail sectors. The acquisition of Van-Lang provides national scale for GCP.”
Founded in 1986, Van-Lang operates out of a 20,000 sq. ft. production facility in the Chicago area with ample capacity to support future growth. The company maintains a robust product offering that includes classic hors d’oeuvres, breakfast items, entrees, desserts, and specialty products including Modern Latin, Southern Flavors, Dim Sum, among others.
Steven Flyer, Partner of AUA Private Equity, commented: “We are thrilled to continue to expand the GCP platform through the acquisition of Van-Lang and the ability to offer a true national presence. Through the Gourmet Culinary Partners platform, AUA Private Equity has created a leading one-stop shop for a costumer’s complete culinary needs. Our goal is to be the partner of choice to chefs, culinary professionals, and operators nationwide.”
The transaction was led by Partner Steven Flyer, Vice President Ari David, Associate Greg Conway, and Winter Associate, Nicolas Pflaum. Susan Pravda and Alex Miska of Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to AUA Private Equity. Additional advisors to AUA Private Equity include Sharon Bromberg and Corey Winkler of CohnReznick LLP and Maria Steingoltz and Manny Picciola of L.E.K. Consulting.
About AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC
AUA Private Equity Partners is a New York based, operationally-focused, lower middle-market investment firm providing strategic capital to companies in the consumer products and services sectors with a particular focus on family-owned businesses or companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. AUA Private Equity makes equity investments of $20 to $75 million in companies that generate in excess of $5 million in EBITDA. For more information on AUA Private Equity Partners, please visit www.auaequity.com
About Gourmet Culinary Partners, LLC
Gourmet Culinary Partners is a holding company organized by AUA Private Equity Partners to acquire interests in, and partner with, premium specialty food manufacturers in the U.S. that focus on culinary solutions for customers across the foodservice and retail sectors. For more information on Gourmet Culinary Partners, please visit www.gourmetculinarypartners.com
About Van-Lang Enterprises, Inc.
Van-Lang is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres with national distribution and strong presence in the Midwest as well as self-distribution capabilities in the Chicago marketplace serving luxury hotels, private clubs, banquet houses, and caterers. For more information on Van-Lang, please visit www.vanlangfoods.com
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