Logo for Quest Analytics.

Quest Analytics Acquires BetterDoctor

Today, healthcare costs in the U.S. are spiraling. As a result, health plans are narrowing the size of their provider networks to keep premiums affordable. Federal and state insurance regulators have subsequently enacted network adequacy and provider data accuracy regulations to ensure plan members have convenient and timely access to physicians and hospitals.

The combination of Quest Analytics' network decision-support tools and BetterDoctor, the only primary-source verified provider data management platform, will enable health plans to provide their members with convenient access to an adequate network of doctors and hospitals and an up-to-date, accurate directory of network providers.

"Narrow networks compound the issue of inaccurate provider data and pose substantial challenges to health plan members seeking the right doctor, hospital and care for themselves and their families," said Roger Holstein, Executive Chairman, Quest Analytics. "Quest Analytics offers an unprecedented solution for health plans seeking to improve their member experience."

"Recent CMS audits have found that the majority of Medicare Advantage health plan provider directories were 30 to 60 percent inaccurate," said John Weis, co-founder and President, Quest Analytics. "Today, we can solve that problem. Because the BetterDoctor provider data management platform is 100 percent primary source verified by the providers themselves, we deliver the most accurate source of data that our 300 health plan customers can depend upon to solve this problem for plan members."

"Quest Analytics recognizes that network adequacy and accuracy are inextricably linked," said Ari Tulla, co-founder of BetterDoctor and Chief Executive Officer, Quest Analytics. "Together, we will help health plans address two of the biggest issues facing health plans today: accessible networks and accurate provider directories for their members and compliance with federal and state requirements."

Charles Boorady, founding managing director, Health Catalyst Capital, will also join the Quest Analytics Board. He commented, "Health plans are under intense pressure. Quest Analytics can substantially improve the member experience, help eliminate surprise billing, and make member-facing mobile applications more user friendly. These improvements can have meaningful impact on advancing the quality of care in the U.S."

The combined company will operate under the Quest Analytics brand. As part of this transaction, Ari Tulla, co-founder of BetterDoctor, will bring his deep background in technology and platform development to become Chief Executive Officer of Quest Analytics. John Weis, co-founder of Quest Analytics, will serve as President of the company, where he will continue to lead customer and product strategy to help health plans build innovative solutions to meet their evolving needs.

Vestar Capital Partners, which acquired Quest Analytics in August 2017, and Health Catalyst Capital, which first invested in BetterDoctor in April 2017, financed the investment.

About Quest Analytics
Quest Analytics is the first comprehensive platform that enables health plans to optimize their member experience, while complying with federal and state regulations for network adequacy and accuracy. Our provider data management and network analytics services are trusted by the nation's leading health plans, insurance regulatory agencies and benefit consultants to provide consumers with convenient access to an adequate network of doctors and hospitals and an up-to-date, accurate directory of providers. For more information, please visit www.questanalytics.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 & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.

About Health Catalyst Capital
Health Catalyst Capital is a venture capital fund that seeks to invest in high-growth healthcare technology and technology-enabled services businesses that work to improve patient outcomes, enhance patient access, and deliver value-based care. Health Catalyst Capital invested in BetterDoctor as part of its systematic review of companies developing technologies related to Patient Navigation, Network and Referral Management. HCC remains active in this investment theme and others. For more information, visit www.HealthCatalystCapital.com.

Media contact:

Jen Newman
[email protected]
917.587.9462

Related Links

http://www.questanalytics.com


Logo for Hearthside food solutions.

Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners Agree to Sell Hearthside Food Solutions

CHICAGO, IL, April 17, 2018 – Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to sell Hearthside Food Solutions, the leading bakery, nutrition bar and snack supplier of choice to premier food companies, to an investment group. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

Hearthside Food Solutions is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent bakery and a full-service contract manufacturer of high quality, grain-based food and snack products for many of the world’s leading premier brands. Hearthside offers a diverse product portfolio, including nutrition bars, snack bars, cookies, crackers, and other grain-based snacks.  The company manufactures its products across a network of 25 facilities in the United States and Europe.

Hearthside grew rapidly under the joint ownership of Goldman Sachs and Vestar. In just under four years, Hearthside completed four acquisitions, entered new categories, and expanded into Europe.

“Our relationship with Goldman Sachs and Vestar was exceptional,” said Rich Scalise, founder, chairman, and CEO of Hearthside. “They became partners that enabled growth, strategic direction and most importantly trust. We are excited about taking those enablers to the next level with our new investors as we look to new geographical markets, new categories to enter, and in continuing to make our customer first in everything we do.”

“Hearthside has been an exceptional food platform that we identified early and were successful in helping to scale into Europe and across high-growth categories,” said Nicole Agnew of Goldman Sachs. “The company has experienced tremendous growth under Rich Scalise’s leadership and we wish the company continued success.”

“Hearthside’s growth over the last four years has exceeded our expectations, thanks in large part to Rich’s leadership and his management team,” said Brian O’ Connor, Managing Director of Vestar. “Together, we targeted acquisitions that complemented Hearthside’s capabilities, expanded into Europe and entered new categories. We are confident Hearthside will continue to prosper.”

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as the legal advisor to Hearthside, Goldman Sachs and Vestar in this transaction.  Barclays and Goldman Sachs served as the financial advisors for the transaction.

About Hearthside Food Solutions
Hearthside Food Solutions, headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, is the leading bakery, nutrition bar and snack supplier of choice to premier food companies. Hearthside currently operates 25 food-manufacturing facilities, including three in Europe. In 2014, Hearthside was acquired by the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners. For more information on Hearthside Food Solutions, visit www.hearthsidefoods.com.

About Goldman Sachs
Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division is the primary center for the firm’s long-term principal investing activity. With nine offices across seven countries, Goldman Sachs MBD is one of the leading private capital investors in the world with equity and credit investments across corporate, real estate, and infrastructure strategies. Since 1986, the group has invested approximately $185 billion of levered capital across a number of geographies, industries and transaction types.

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 & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.

 

Contacts:
FOR HEARTHSIDE:
Carl Melville
760-671-1110
[email protected]

FOR GOLDMAN SACHS:
Leslie Shribman
(212) 902-5400
[email protected]

FOR VESTAR:
Owen Blicksilver Public Relations
Carol Makovich
(203) 622-4781
[email protected]

Jennifer Hurson
(845) 507-0571
[email protected]

 


The Vestar logo on a gold colored back ground.

Vestar Promotes Nikhil Bhat to Principal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - January 23, 2018 - Vestar Capital Partners today announced the promotion of Nikhil Bhat to Principal.

“Today’s announcement is a recognition of Nikhil’s important contributions to our firm,” said Rob Rosner, Co-President of Vestar and a founding partner of the firm as well as Head of the Business Services & Industrial Products group. “He has delivered an exceptionally strong performance to our business services and industrial products team, participating in recent transactions such as the sale of ISS and our investment in Edward Don, among others.”

Mr. Bhat is a member of Vestar’s Business Services & Industrial Products group. He joined the firm as a Senior Associate in 2014, and was promoted to Vice President in 2016. He previously worked on the Industrials team at Advent International, where he focused on private equity investments in the building products, capital equipment, and distribution sectors. He began his career as a consultant at Bain & Company.

Mr. Bhat holds a BS degree in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated with distinction as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Approximately half of Vestar’s investments over time have been in the Business Services and Industrial Products sectors, including business services companies such as Institutional Shareholder Services, Edward Don & Company, Presence Marketing, and Duff & Phelps; industrial and commercial products companies such as Mobile Technologies, Argo-Tech, Prestone, AZ Electronic Materials, and Wabtec; and industrial services companies such as Triton and Wilton Re.

 


A tonal version of the Vestar Logo on a seafoam colored ground.

Vestar’s Norman Alpert Featured in WSJ Pro Private Equity

In Their Own Words With Vestar’s Norman Alpert
WSJ Pro Private Equity
By Laura Cooper
Published December 28, 2017

Each year, WSJ Pro Private Equity asks thought leaders in the private-equity industry to share their perspectives on the year that has just passed and their outlook for the year ahead.

Norman Alpert is co-president and a founder at New York midmarket buyout shop Vestar Capital Partners, where he leads the firm’s health-care group. Vestar typically invests $50 million to $150 million of equity in companies with valuations of $100 million to $1 billion, according to the firm’s website.

Q: What surprised you the most in 2017?

A: 2017 has been another strong year economically in the U.S. overall and for private equity specifically. I am constantly amazed at the resilience, flexibility and optimism embedded in our economy, workforce and markets. For PE, these factors created an incredibly positive environment for new investments and exits. A near-perfect combination of stable growth, low interest rates, easy credit and high valuations produced outstanding performance. What’s also surprising is that all this occurred during a volatile political, social and global environment where civil discourse, tolerance and bipartisan legislative progress seem less present than ever.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge your corner of the industry will face in 2017?

A: We are entering the ninth year of a solid, low-growth cycle, poised to become the second-longest recovery since [World War II]. Extended periods of very good investment performance tend to produce complacency, overconfidence and, ultimately, excessive risk-taking. I don’t know if 2018 will be the end of this highly profitable period, but the odds are it is coming sooner rather than later. For those of us who invest in health care, the uncertainty surrounding financing and access policy makes many provider and services opportunities more challenging. On the other hand, there remain tremendous opportunities to find smaller innovative health-care companies making a real difference to health-care quality and cost.

Q: What are your thoughts on the possibility of a recession in the coming year, and how is that shaping your investment strategy?

A: No apparent economic signals suggest a downturn is imminent. Our sense is an exogenous geopolitical shock is the biggest risk. However, we are approaching each investment with a clear understanding that the current economic cycle will end, interest rates may rise and valuation multiples will decline. We devise clear strategies to manage risk, develop growth and contain costs, positioning each company to respond to the inevitable surprises that lie ahead.


Logo for Nonni's.

Vestar Capital Partners to Acquire Nonni’s

New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois – November 14, 2017 – Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nonni’s Food Group (“Nonni’s”). Nonni’s is a leading manufacturer and marketer of artisanal cookies and other premium baked snacks. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Based in Oakbrook, IL, Nonni’s premium products are synonymous with artisanal, authentic, and Italian-inspired. Products are marketed under the Nonni’s, THINaddictives, and La Dolce Vita brand names, and sold through a diverse distribution platform that includes major customers in club, grocery, mass market, foodservice, and online retailing.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Vestar as we look to build upon Nonni’s growth and success. The Vestar team’s deep consumer experience will be invaluable as we work to expand our customer relationships, enter new channels, and continue to introduce new and innovative products to the marketplace,” said Brian Hansberry, CEO of Nonni’s.

“We see numerous growth avenues for Nonni’s premium, established brands,” said Brian O’Connor, Managing Director of Vestar and Co-Head of the Consumer Group. “We are excited to be partnering with Brian Hansberry, Chris Puma, and the rest of Nonni’s management team to pursue our shared vision for the Company.”

Latham & Watkins served as legal counsel to Vestar. Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor to Nonni’s and Kirkland & Ellis provided transaction counsel. Antares Holdings and Northwestern Mutual Capital provided financing for the transaction.

 

About Nonni’s Food Group

Nonni’s Food Group is the leading producer, marketer, and distributor of branded premium specialty cookies and baked goods in North America. The company sells products under the Nonni’s, THINaddictives, and La Dolce Vita brands. Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., Nonni’s operates four facilities in Ferndale, N.Y.; Glendale, Ariz.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Montreal, Canada. It produces its traditional biscotti using the original family recipe including real eggs, butter, and gourmet bittersweet chocolate that gives the biscotti a light, crunchy texture that is delicately sweet. The devotion to real quality ingredients is the foundation for the continued success of the company. Nonni’s Biscotti is the number one-selling biscotti in the U.S. and the only national brand sold coast to coast. Additional information is available at www.nonnis.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 & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Vestar Capital Partners

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.

Carol Makovich

203-622-4781

[email protected]

 

Jennifer Hurson

845-507-0571

[email protected]

 


Logo for ISS.

Vestar Announces Sale of Institutional Shareholder Services for $720 million

NEW YORK (September 7, 2017) – Vestar Capital Partners has announced that Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions to financial market participants, has been sold for $720 million. The transaction is expected to close by early fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

Vestar acquired ISS in April 2014, carving it out from its former corporate parent MSCI Inc. Under Vestar’s ownership, ISS successfully developed into an attractive, high-growth platform with a clear market leadership position in the on-trend Environmental, Social and Governance (“ES&G”) space.

CEO Gary Retelny and his management team led this transformation, establishing ISS as a standalone entity and investing behind the systems and human capital infrastructure required to accelerate growth. ISS will continue to operate independently once the transaction is completed and the current ISS executive leadership team will remain in place.

“We thank Vestar Capital Partners for their commitment to ISS and its clients around the globe over the past three years. It has been a tremendously successful partnership,” Mr. Retelny said.

“Our partnership with Gary Retelny and the ISS management team has been extremely productive and highly successful, including the completion of five acquisitions, which significantly broadened its products and services,” said Rob Rosner, co-president of Vestar. “We are proud of how ISS has expanded its business over the past several years and strengthened its global position as the leading authority in corporate governance.”

ISS currently has more than 1,000 employees operating across 19 global offices in 13 countries. Its approximately 3,000 clients include many of the world’s-leading institutional investors who rely on ISS’ objective and impartial proxy research and data to vote portfolio holdings, as well as public companies focused on governance risk mitigation as a shareholder-value enhancing measure.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal advisor to ISS and Vestar Capital Partners on the transaction.

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, advisory 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 and responsible investment decisions. For more information, please visit www.issgovernance.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 & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.

 

Media Contacts:
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.
Subodh Mishra, Executive Director, Communications
+301-556-0304
[email protected]

Vestar Capital
Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.
Jennifer Hurson
+845-507-0571
[email protected] 


Logo for Quest Analytics.

Vestar Capital Partners Acquires Quest Analytics

New York, New York – August 22, 2017 – Vestar Capital Partners today announced that it has acquired Quest Analytics, L.L.C. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Quest Analytics, based in Appleton, WI and co-founded in 2003 by David H. Hill and John P. Weis, is a leader in health plan provider network management software and services. Mr. Hill and Mr. Weis will remain active in the business and will retain a substantial minority ownership stake in the company.

Health plan provider network access, adequacy, and accuracy standards vary by state and type of beneficiary. As health plan networks evolve to keep healthcare affordable, Quest Analytics provides critically important software and cloud-based solutions for both health plans and the regulators who monitor their performance.

“Quest’s products and services are critical competitive tools for health plan networks in the current volatile and uncertain healthcare environment,” said Roger C. Holstein, Managing Director at Vestar Capital Partners. “As healthcare costs continue to rise, health plans are narrowing the size of provider networks in order to keep premiums affordable. Now more than ever, health plans look to Quest to help them design, contract, and monitor the access, adequacy, and accuracy of their networks.”

“Partnering with Vestar, Quest will not only have additional capital to invest and grow our business but also access to Vestar’s data analytics and sector expertise that will enable us to take full advantage of the significant opportunities available to expand our fast-growing business,” said Mr. Weis, CEO of Quest Analytics.

Richard Barasch, former CEO of Universal American (a leading Medicare Advantage plan recently acquired by WellCare Health Plans, Inc.) and a senior advisor to Vestar, was actively involved in the investment and will join the Quest board.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Vestar. Brown Gibbons Lang & Company acted as financial advisor to Quest Analytics and Foley & Lardner LLP provided transaction counsel.

About Quest Analytics, L.L.C.

Quest Analytics is an independent solutions company, built without ownership ties to any health plan, providing commercial software development and consulting services for hundreds of health plans, consultants, and government agencies in the healthcare industry. The company has brought many innovative solutions to the market ranging from pioneering access analysis and disruption analysis tools to evolving network adequacy solutions and right-sized network design services. For more information, please visit www.questanalytics.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 & Industrial Products. Since its founding in 1988, Vestar funds have completed more than 80 investments in companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.

Carol Makovich

203-622-4781

[email protected]

 

Jennifer Hurson

845-507-0571

[email protected]


Logo for Don Edwards.

Edward Don & Company Announces Investment by Vestar Capital Partners

WOODRIDGE, IL – March 2, 2017 – Edward Don & Company (“DON”), the world’s leading distributor of foodservice equipment and supplies, announced today that it is pleased to bring in a new capital investor, Vestar Capital Partners, to fund DON’s future growth, with a primary focus on geographic expansion and acquisitions. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

Following Vestar’s investment, the Don family and members of senior management will retain a significant ownership stake in the company. Steve Don will remain CEO of the Company, and his senior management team will also remain in place. Owned and operated by the Don family since 1921, Edward Don & Company is the chosen supplier to all types of foodservice businesses including independent restaurants, national chains, health care, hospitality, country clubs, schools and universities, government institutions, and foodservice management.

“We were pleased to be selected by the Don family as a value-added capital partner to help the business grow. DON is the premier platform in the foodservice equipment and supplies industry and the only nationwide, fully integrated solution for customers today. Its management team, customer service organization, and state-of-the-art technology provide an unparalleled platform on which to build,” said Rob Rosner, co-president and founding partner of Vestar.

“For more than 95 years, DON has put customers first, delivering everything but the food,” said Steve Don, CEO. “In Vestar, we found a partner who not only brings fresh capital to the business but also has a deep appreciation for the customers, employees, and culture that have made us who we are today. Customers can expect the same high level of foodservice expertise, customer service and quality, innovative products from DON as we move forward with Vestar.”

“With Vestar’s deep expertise in the foodservice industry and our long history of working closely with family-owned businesses, we believe we can be a value-added partner to Edward Don & Company. We are excited to work with Steve and build on the success he and his family have had thus far,” said John Stephens, managing director and co-head of the Business Services and Industrial Products Group of Vestar.

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to DON and Horwood Marcus & Berk served as legal counsel.  Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Vestar.

 

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.

 

About Edward Don & Company

Owned and operated by the Don family since 1921, Edward Don & Company is the world's leading distributor of foodservice equipment and supplies. Headquartered in Woodridge, IL, the company is the chosen supplier to all types of foodservice businesses including independent restaurants, national chains, health care, hospitality, country clubs, schools and universities, government institutions, and foodservice management. DON, with approximately 1,100 employees, operates a nationwide distribution network supported by six full-service distribution centers – in Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles – and also owns and operates its own transportation fleet. DON serves national and multi-unit account programs with flexible, customized solutions that meet the needs of both the corporate office and the individual units. DON’s Foodservice Equipment Division offers full service kitchen design, equipment purchasing, and installation. For more information, please visit www.don.com

 

# # #

Media Contacts for Vestar Capital Partners:

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.

Carol Makovich

203.622.4781

[email protected]

Jennifer Hurson

845.507.0571

[email protected]


A tonal version of the Vestar logo on a dark blue ground.

Vestar Promotes Stephens, Funk, Williams

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – February 6, 2017 – Vestar Capital Partners today announced the promotions of John Stephens to co-head of the firm’s Business Services
and Industrial Products Group, Ben Funk to vice president, and Jonathan Williams to senior associate.

John Stephens

“John has brought insightful thinking and outstanding execution to the Business Services and Industrial Products Group,” said Rob Rosner, co-president of Vestar and a founding partner of the firm as well as head of the Business Services and Industrial Products Group. “His promotion to co-head of the Group is a recognition of the value he has delivered to Vestar and our investors.”

Nearly half of Vestar’s investments over time have been in the Business Services and Industrial Products sectors, including business services companies such as Institutional Shareholder Services, Presence Marketing, and Duff & Phelps; industrial and commercial products companies such as Mobile Technologies, Argo-Tech, Prestone, AZ Electronic Materials, and Wabtec; and financial services companies such as Triton and Wilton Re.

John Stephens, a managing director of the firm, joined Vestar in 2006. He has been a member of the Business Services and Industrial Products Group for several years and has also served in Vestar’s Consumer group. He is a director of Mobile Technologies, Presence Marketing, Roland Foods, and St. John Knits, and was previously on the board of Consolidated Container. John also serves as an Investment Committee member of the Colorado Impact Fund and BIGR Ventures. Before joining Vestar, he was a member of the Leveraged Finance Group at Wachovia Securities and also worked at L.E.K. Consulting.

He holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Middlebury College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

Ben Funk

"Ben has shown outstanding performance, diligence, and promise since he joined our firm,” said Brian O’Connor, managing director and co-head of the Consumer Group.
“Attracting and developing talent has always been a hallmark of Vestar and we consider Ben to be a fine example of the depth of our bench and the strength of our teams at every level.”

Ben Funk, most recently a senior associate at Vestar, joined the firm in 2012 as an associate. Previously he was an analyst at Perella Weinberg Partners, where he focused
on a wide range of M&A and restructuring transactions.

He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.S. degree in Business Administration.

Jonathan Williams

“Since joining Vestar, Jonathan has made a tremendous contribution to the firm and distinguished himself with his energy and dedication,” said Ken O'Keefe, managing
director and COO of Vestar. “He excels as a member of several Vestar teams and provides essential support for the firm’s initiatives. We congratulate him on his welldeserved promotion.”

Jonathan Williams joined Vestar in 2014 as an associate in the New York office. Prior to Vestar, Jonathan was an analyst at Moelis & Company, where he executed a number of M&A and restructuring transactions across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, telecommunications, and consumer/retail.

Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History.

 


Logo for Roland.

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.

203-622-4781

[email protected]