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Vestar-owned Roland Foods Receives $125 Million Minority Investment

NEW YORK, NY – January 9, 2017 – Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”), a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it accepted a $125 million minority investment in Roland Foods (“Roland”), a Vestar portfolio company and leading provider of superior quality specialty foods.  Following the completion of this recapitalization transaction, Vestar will remain the majority shareholder in Roland.

Founded in 1934 and owned by Vestar since 2013, Roland Foods is a recognized leader in the imported specialty foods business in the U.S. and around the globe. The Roland brand is iconic and stands at the forefront of the industry, providing more than 1,500 SKUs to the foodservice, retail, and industrial channels.

“Roland has achieved extraordinary growth since 2013, and we are excited to welcome a new partner who will help to accelerate this already strong momentum,” said Brian O’Connor, managing director of Vestar and co-head of its Consumer Group.

“Given the strong prospects ahead for our business, both organically and through acquisitions, this transaction is an opportunity to provide Roland with the capital flexibility to further our market-leading position,” said Jim Wagner, Roland’s CEO. “With the ongoing support of our partners, we will continue to grow and provide exceptional service, value and quality to all of our customers.”

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as financial advisor to Vestar and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel.

About Roland Foods

Roland Foods, based in New York City, specializes in importing high-quality specialty food products from more than 50 countries. Founded in Paris in 1934 and established in the U.S. in 1939, the Company provides customers with exceptional specialty foods, primarily offered under the Roland brand. The company has a national presence in the foodservice, retail, and industrial channels as well as international sales in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Roland Foods’ dedication to providing quality and consistency has made it a leader among food importers and suppliers. The Roland brand is synonymous with quality for the consumer and chef alike. For more information, please visit www.rolandfood.com.

About Vestar Capital Partners

Vestar Capital Partners is a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on Consumer, Healthcare, and Business Services and Industrial Products. Since Vestar’s founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed 78 investments in companies with a total value of more than $46 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.


Media Contacts:

Vestar Capital Partners

Carol Makovich

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.


[email protected]


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ISS Announces Acquisition of IW Financial

ROCKVILLE, Md. (January 5, 2017) -- Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), the leading provider of end-to-end corporate governance and responsible investment solutions to the global financial community, today announced the acquisition of IW Financial, a U.S.-based firm offering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research, consulting, and portfolio management solutions.

Established in 2001 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, IW Financial's suite of offerings help asset management firms and other institutional clients identify risks, enhance productivity, and increase revenues by adding value to the money management process while strengthening client relationships. IW Financial's solutions are based on patented technology that allows users to comparatively rate companies based on user-defined criteria. Institutions can incorporate ESG factors into their investment platforms, products, and portfolios and can quickly identify the investments that best meet ESG guidelines and client expectations.

“This acquisition will help us continue to meet the growing demands of the investment community to further integrate ESG data and insights into ISS’ industry leading corporate governance offerings,” said ISS’ Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Harvey. “We are committed to helping investment professionals across the globe leverage timely and relevant extra-financial insights to aid in investment decision-making through our growing suite of services.”

IW Financial screens, methodologies, and other solutions will be integrated into ISS-Ethix, the ESG arm of Institutional Shareholder Services, which provides global investors with deep expertise in environmental and social research and analysis to deliver a fully integrated, turnkey solution for responsible investing. IW Financial CEO Sam Pierce will continue with the combined group and will lead development of an environmental and social ratings methodology, slated for release later this year as part of the ISS QualityScore screening and scoring solution.

“We are very pleased to join the ISS family and I look forward to working with Steve and entire team to develop and deliver industry leading ESG products and services,” said Pierce. “We look forward to integrating our teams, products, and services to provide clients a truly end-to-end solution that is global in scope.”


About ISS Founded in 1985 as Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., ISS is the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers. ISS’ solutions include: objective governance research and recommendations; RI data, analytics, and research; end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions; turnkey securities class-action claims management (provided by Securities Class Action Services, LLC); and reliable global governance data and modeling tools. Clients rely on ISS' expertise to help them make informed corporate governance decisions. For more information, please visit www.issgovernance.com.

Media Contact: Subodh Mishra, Executive Director, Communications +301-556-0304 [email protected]