AUA Private Equity recaps Associated Foods

AUA Private Equity said Tuesday that it has recapitalized its portfolio company Associated Foods. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in the New York metropolitan area, Associated is a distributor of grocery products to independent retail supermarkets.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY – October 8, 2013 – AUA Private Equity Partners (“AUA Equity”), a lower middle-market private equity firm investing in U.S. Hispanic-oriented and/or family-owned businesses is pleased to announce that it has successfully recapitalized Associated Foods Holdings, LLC (“Associated”) distributing in excess of 30% of invested capital back to its investors within 10 months of the firm’s original investment. AUA Equity acquired Associated in December 2012, partnering with the existing owners, Harry Laufer and Ira Gober. Since AUA’s investment, AUA has accelerated the company’s growth by adding new stores to its network, creating a distribution partnership with UNFI, bolstering the Management team and increasing the company’s note portfolio to existing and new customers. Terms of the recapitalization were not disclosed.

Established more than 50 years ago, Associated is a distributor of grocery products to branded independent (predominately Hispanic owned) retail supermarkets in the New York metropolitan area, one of the largest retail food markets in the United States. Associated provides grocery distribution, financing, marketing and promotional services to approximately 270 independently owned and operated grocery stores, which typically carry the “Associated” or “Compare” trade name.

Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Equity and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Associated commented: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to recapitalize Associated in the short time that we have owned the company with Harry Laufer and Ira Gober. Associated still has a modest amount of leverage on the business which is a hallmark of AUA Equity’s investment approach. The company generates strong cash flow due to an outstanding business model that Harry Laufer and Ira Gober have developed over the past thirty-five years. We are pleased to be able to return to our investors over 30% of their original investment and simultaneously increase our ownership of the company.”

Harry Laufer added, “We continue to be impressed with the AUA Equity team and know that we have made the right decision in partnering with them. The AUA Equity team has developed a number of new business initiatives for Associated and has been successful in prudently financing our business.”

Ira Gober commented, “This recapitalization makes sense for the company and allows us to expand our financing for our customers. The company is well positioned to expand with new stores; develop new markets; and increase our financing capacity to lend to our independent owners. We are pleased to be in partnership with AUA Equity to help us grow our business and identify new revenue streams.”

About AUA Equity
AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC is a New York-based, operationally-focused, lower middlemarket private equity firm. AUA Equity is a next generation investment manager that is successfully capturing the rising tide of the evolving U.S. demographic landscape. The firm makes equity investments in companies in the consumer, media and business services sectors with a particular focus on Hispanic-oriented companies and/or family-owned businesses located in the United States. AUA Equity makes equity investments of $10 to $30 million in companies that generate in excess of $3 million in EBITDA.

For more information on AUA Private Equity, visit www.auaequity.com
For more information on Associated Foods Holdings, visit www.myassociated.com

 

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