Sun Capital sells US frozen strawberry giant Sunrise to Paine & Partners


Sunrise Growers strawberryUS turnaround investor Sun Capital Partners has exited its stake in the top frozen strawberry product maker in the US to fellow private equity firm Paine & Partners.

Sun bought into Sunrise Growers-Frozsun Foods in 2008 and said it improved growth and profitability through “cost saving initiatives, facility consolidations, key customer additions, new product introductions and business rationalisations.

Financial details were not disclosed, and a spokesman for Sun said it declined to give a sale price, exit multiple or net IRR for the investment.

California-headquartered Sunrise produces more than 130 million pounds of processed strawberries and other fruit products every year.

Paine & Partners said Edward Haft, who was president and CEO when Sun bought into the business, would continue to leadthe company alongside Sunrise’s senior management team.

Kevin Schwartz, a founding Partner at Paine & Partners, said, “We are excited about our investment in Sunrise, a leader in the retail and foodservice frozen fruit markets that is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for healthy food options and quality frozen fruit products.

“We have been impressed by the company’s capabilities and the strong strategic relationships it has with its grower and customer partners.

“Together with the Sunrise management team, we have identified opportunities to enhance the company’s product offerings, including expansion into new fruit categories and markets.”

Sun is currently nearing a close for its $3bn-targeting sixth buyout fund, which was put back to this year following delays to businesses caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Two sources with knowledge of the fundraise told AltAssets in December that an early 2013 close was on the cards.

One source said, “Sandy really screwed up a lot… everybody lost two to two-and-a-half weeks so [Sun Capital] are in the same boat, although everything’s on track.

“They have never said they would close it up before the end of the year, but it will be then or very early next year.”

Copyright © 2013 AltAssets