Portland frozen snack food maker Brazi Bites has sold a majority stake in the company to a San Francisco private equity firm.
Brazi Bites made the deal with an eye toward growing. While the terms weren’t disclosed, co-founder and CEO Junea Rocha said San Francisco Equity Partners made a significant investment in the company.
“San Francisco Equity Partners is the ideal partner for Brazi Bites based on their experience guiding authentic consumer brands to a broader audience,” said Rocha in a written statement.
The investment will help Brazi Bites boost sales, marketing and distribution of its Brazilian cheese bread frozen snacks. The product is already sold in 6,000 stores.
“There are so many stores we are not in and so many people who don’t know about us,” Rocha told the Business Journal. “Parallel to that, we have an innovation pipeline started in the company.”
Rocha intends to add more products, creating a platform of what the company calls “better-for-you” foods based on Latin American recipes. Its next product is slated to land during 2019’s first quarter. Rocha would say only that the product is “another Latin American staple we are bringing to the U.S. market.”
Brazi Bites Brazillian cheese bread is based on Rocha’s family recipe for the traditional cheese bread Pão de Queijo. She spent a year tweaking the recipe, with U.S. ingredients, before launching the company in 2010 with her husband Cameron MacMullin.
In 2015, Rocha and MacMullin appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The show’s popularity led to a huge spike in demand. In 2017, the company was the region’s third-fastest growing private company, with 2016 revenue of $8.6 million and a two-year growth rate of 1,358 percent.
Brazi Bites has grown by more than 4,500 percent in the last three years.
“Brazi Bites is a trendsetting brand at the forefront of the ‘freezer revolution,’ and their growth within the industry reflects that,” said Scott Potter, managing partner at San Francisco Equity Partners, in a written statement. “Junea and Cameron have done an impressive job in building an authentic brand with deep consumer connection.”
San Francisco Equity Partners typically invests in companies of up to $100 million and up to $10 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Its investments range from $5 million to $25 million.
It targets fast-growth consumer products such as those made by its portfolio companies Method Products, organic spice company Red Monkey Foods and beauty products company Japonesque.
The deal marks the latest in a string of local private equity arrangements since January.
Vetsource, a home delivery pharmacy for pet medication, secured $50 million from Bain Capital Ventures. Sustainable Restaurant Group, the parent company of the Bamboo Sushi chain, raised at least $8.5 million from Bain Capital Double Impact.
Dealer Spike sold a majority stake in the company to True Wind Capital Management while Exterro sold about half the company for more than $100 million to Leeds Equity Partners.
Ethics and compliance software maker Navex Global was acquired by BC Partners for more than $1.2 billion.