AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC (“AUA Private Equity”) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Weaver Holdings, LLC (“Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing” or the “Company”), a fourth-generation family-owned manufacturer of popcorn and snacking products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is the largest independent manufacturer of popcorn products in the United States. The Company is recognized for its scale, quality, and innovation by its blue-chip retail and branded customers. Alongside its investment in Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, AUA Private Equity will bring the firm’s significant experience in professionalizing and improving family-owned food manufacturing businesses to help expand on the Weaver Family’s well-invested assets and passionate employee base.
“Our partnership with the Weaver Family and Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is emblematic of what AUA Private Equity does best – partnering with family-owned businesses to take them to the next level,” said Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Private Equity. “We will proactively focus on operational upside by supporting the team with capital and resources while preserving Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing’s entrepreneurial and solution-oriented culture. We are eager to continue building upon the Company’s ongoing success.”
David Benyaminy, Partner of AUA Private Equity commented, “We see tremendous opportunity to help Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing expand, and the Company possesses all of the necessary attributes to accelerate its success: an excellent management team, an engaged and aligned family-owner, and a flexible capital structure. Our plan is to make this a best-in-class partner for customers and all their snacking needs.”
Charlie DeVries, Vice President of AUA Private Equity added, “We are tapping into our bench of operating partners to enact meaningful change at the Company. We’ve added Mike Tracy, formerly the SVP of Supply Chain at Conagra, and Ted Schouten, formerly the President of TruFood Manufacturing to the board of directors. Both individuals will help oversee the investment and augment governance.”
Jason Kashman, CEO of Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, said: “We are thrilled to partner with AUA Private Equity and its phenomenal team, who has a demonstrated history of success in food manufacturing and helping to propel the growth of family-owned businesses. By building on the foundation that the Weaver family put in place, AUA Private Equity will allow us to expand our capabilities operationally and increase the pace of product innovation. The resources that AUA Private Equity brings will ultimately benefit our customers and associates at Weaver. We are excited to join the AUA Private Equity family.”
Will Weaver, shareholder and fourth-generation owner added, “AUA Private Equity is the right partner to build on Ira Weaver’s original mission — to offer the world’s highest quality, best-tasting popcorn at the lowest possible price. We are very excited for what the future has to offer.“
The AUA Private Equity deal team was led by Partner David Benyaminy, Vice President Charlie DeVries, Senior Associate Nico Pflaum and Associate Luke Phillips. McDermott Will & Emery served as legal advisor for AUA Private Equity Partners and Proterra Investment Partners provided the debt financing. Grant Thornton and Boston Consulting Group also served as commercial and financial advisors for AUA Private Equity. Taft Stettinius & Hollister served as legal advisor for Weaver. Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing in connection with the transaction.