Takenaka Partners Advises Calbee North America, LLC on its Majority Investment in Warnock Food Products, Inc.

Takenaka Partners LLC (Los Angeles, CA) acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Calbee North America, LLC (“Calbee”) on its majority investment into branded and private label snack foods manufacturer, Warnock Food Products, Inc. (“Warnock”). Takenaka Partners successfully advised Calbee through a competitive sale process that was run by BGL that included a group of private equity sponsors and global strategic buyers.

Originally a Japanese snack food manufacturer, Calbee Inc. expanded to North America in 1970 with popular brands like Saya and Shrimp Chips. In 2012, Calbee Inc. formed Calbee North America in partnership with the largest potato grower in the U.S. Today, Calbee produces a variety of snacks, many of which are healthier alternatives to regular chips.

Warnock, located in Madera, California, is a leading contract manufacturer of high-quality branded and private label snack foods with a focus on better-for-you offerings. It offers a variety of certified Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, Whole Grain, Kosher, Vegan, and/or Peanut-free snack products. In 2018, the company recorded sales representing a compound annual growth rate of ~20% since 2016.

Together the companies represent a strong strategic fit. Through its acquisition of Warnock, Calbee will be able to further branch out into the North American market by leveraging Warnock’s strong customer relationships, fully upgraded facility dedicated to ingredient-focused product development, and experienced and dedicated management team. In this way, Calbee hopes to expand its product portfolio in the U.S. snack market as well as sell its own unique snacks. Kraig Rawls, co-owner and CEO of Warnock Food Products, stated, “Warnock is very pleased with the outcome of this transaction. We believe our longstanding partnerships with both customers and suppliers, coupled with our one-stop-shop capability, offer a unique platform for continued strong growth”.

According to Yukuo Takenaka, President and Founder of Takenaka Partners, “Takenaka Partners is pleased to have helped structure a strong business relationship between Calbee and Warnock and believes that the two companies will help one another continue to grow”.



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