Entrepreneurial Equity Partners Closes First Fund

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (E2P) has closed its inaugural fund, Entrepreneurial Equity Partners I LP, with $423 million of capital commitments.

Chicago-based E2P was founded by Mark Burgett, a former managing director at Wind Point Partners, and CJ Fraleigh, a former CEO of Shearer’s Foods and Sara Lee North America.

E2P makes control-oriented investments of $25 million to $150 million in food and consumer packaged goods companies that have revenues of at least $50 million. Sectors of specific interest include established food and beverage products and brands, private label and contract manufacturing, and foodservice.

E2P has already invested $280 million of Fund I’s capital in five platforms including Ya YA Foods, a co-packer of aseptic (sterilized) food and beverages, broths, fruit juices, and sports drinks, that was acquired in February 2021; and Salm Partners, a Wisconsin-based contract manufacturer of fully cooked sausages and hot dogs, that was acquired in December 2020.

Kronos Foods was acquired in February 2020 and merged with Grecian Delight Foods in April 2020 to form World Food Holdings, an Illinois-based provider of gyros meat, pitas and flatbreads, hummus, sauces, and desserts. In January 2020, E2P merged Daniele International, acquired in September 2019, with Creminelli Fine Meats to form Charcuterie Artisans, a Utah-based producer of cold cook meats known in the trade as Italian charcuterie. Fund I’s fifth platform is Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, an Illinois-based manufacturer and distributor of frozen bakery products and desserts, which was acquired in July 2018 in partnership with Kohlberg & Company.

“We are pleased and humbled by the investor support for our inaugural fund,” said Mr. Burgett. “We view Fund I’s successful capital raise as a testament to the team we have built and our demonstrated ability to deploy capital into compelling opportunities.”

Working alongside Messrs. Burgett and Fraleigh is Partner Rich Scalise, the former chairman and CEO of Hearthside Food Solutions, the largest independent bakery in the US and a current portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital and Partners Group; the former president of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products; and the former president of ConAgra’s refrigerated foods division.

The E2P investment and operating team also includes Principals Doug Bolton and Ryan Schweet; Associate Vice President Kevin Henneck; Associate Elizabeth Dammeyer; Operating Advisor Tom Hayes; and Controller Matt Schick.

“We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead and are confident that our extensive operational expertise and industry networks will help us drive growth and value for our portfolio companies and investors,” said Mr. Fraleigh.

The private funds advisory group of Moelis & Company was the placement agent to E2P on this fundraise and Latham & Watkins provided legal services.

Private Equity Professional | May 27, 2021