January 27, 2021
Middle-market private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners has acquired plant-based frozen and refrigerated foods brand Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, a recent company release announced. The Elmwood Park, NJ-based company produces a variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, soy free, Kosher and non-GMO foods.
“When our fathers co-founded the company 25 years ago, they were truly innovators. In today’s competitive market, our partnership with Vestar will help provide the financial backing, industry relationships and category expertise to build on our momentum,” Larry Praeger, the firm’s CEO, said in the release.
Established in 1994, Dr. Praeger’s is currently run by second generation family members, Praeger and Adam Somberg, the brand’s president. They will retain their roles when ownership is transferred to Vestar and remain investors.
“The US better-for-you market has never been stronger, and we are excited to partner with a company that has been at the forefront of this trend and knows the market intimately,” said Winston Song, managing director and co-head of Consumer at Vestar, said in a statement. “Larry and Adam have done a tremendous job building the company and developing new products that speak to today’s consumers – flexitarians, vegetarians vegans and those who seek a healthier lifestyle.”
Vestar named Jeffrey Ansell to Dr. Praeger’s board as its chairman. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Sun Products, CEO of Pinnacle Foods and worked for more than two decades in leadership positions at Proctor & Gamble.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
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