WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Midwest Growth Partners (“MGP”), a West Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska-based private equity fund, announces an investment in Florida-based Catalina Finer Foods, LLC (“Catalina” or the “Company”). In partnership with the 2nd generation owner Justo Cepero, Promise Holdings, Gemini Investors, Farragut Capital Partners, Lake Country Capital, SharpVue Capital, and Spring Capital, the Company represents another example of MGP providing succession and growth capital to fuel future organic and acquisitive growth.
Catalina, founded in 1974, is a manufacturer of authentic Cuban and Caribbean cuisine including varieties of croquettes, stuffed potato balls, tamales, stuffed cassava, and other ancillary products. The Company, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, provides these frozen products to a variety of foodservice and retail grocery customers. MGP’s investment in Catalina is a continuation of the firm’s support for branded and private label food manufacturers. Midwest Growth will seek other frozen food manufacturers as potential bolt-on acquisitions to the Catalina platform that would expand its product portfolio or increase the Company’s geographic reach. Catalina currently employs 72 employees.
“We’re excited about our partnership with Midwest Growth” noted Justo Cepero. “Catalina has historically focused on providing top quality Cuban and Caribbean cuisine to families in mostly southern Florida. This newly formed partnership with MGP and other investors will provide the Company with the resources needed to expand into additional products and geographies. This is a fantastic opportunity for Catalina and all of our employees.” said Cepero. “MGP’s investments in food manufacturing made their team a logical choice to partner with.” noted Gordon Liao from Promise Holdings. “We look forward to working together to continue the legacy of the Cepero family.” John Johnson, incoming President of Catalina stated, “I look forward to working with Mr. Cepero over the coming months as I begin to take over the day-to-day management of the Company. Our team will attempt to relieve Justo of some of his responsibilities as he starts to transition into semi-retirement. I realize that I have big shoes to fill and I’m truly grateful to Justo for his willingness to work alongside of me.”
Joe Greving, co-founder and Partner of Midwest Growth Partners stated, “Catalina has such a wonderful legacy of providing great tasting food for family and friends. MGP is incredibly proud to partner with Justo, Promise Holdings, and the other investors as we collectively work toward the goal of sharing Catalina’s products with a broader customer base via geographic expansion opportunities. We want to welcome the wonderful employees of Catalina into the Midwest Growth portfolio that now represents roughly 2,400 total employees.”
Catalina Finer Foods has over four decades of uninterrupted production of Cuban and Caribbean cuisine delicacies. This investment will help the Company share these wonderful products with more consumers throughout expanded markets.
For more information on Catalina, please visit www.catalinafoods.com.