TGF Management and Austin Ventures-backed Sterling Foods has acquired Caravan Trading, a wholesale bakery that produces baked goods for the wholesale, military, food service and retail industries. Caravan is one of the largest bagel producers on the west coast and also recently expanded into the low calorie segment of the baked goods market. TGF and Austin Ventures acquired Sterling in 2008.
Private equity seems to prefer food over drink by a three to one margin. According to the PitchBook Platform, since the beginning of 2007 there have been 121 food company investments compared to only 40 beverage company investments, a difference likely attributable more to the large number of food producing companies than anything else. Combined, private equity firms have invested more than $7 billion in the two industries over the past three years. The most active of the 108 PE investors in the space are Brynwood Partners, TSG Consumer Partners and VMG Partners, all with five deals apiece.