Highlander Partners’ Acquisition of Evans Food Group

Katten legally advised Highlander Partners. William Blair acted as exclusive financial advisor to Evans. Antares provided senior financing, and Norwest Mezzanine Partners provided mezzanine debt and equity in support of the transaction.

Highlander Partners, L.P., a leading middle market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, through its newly-formed food platform, Benestar Brands, executed the acquisition of Evans Food Group from Wind Point Partners. Evans is the world’s leading producer of pork rinds, with five manufacturing operations in the U.S. and one in Saltillo, Mexico.

Headquartered in Chicago, Evans is an international producer of branded, co-packed and private label pork rinds. Its diverse branded portfolio includes Mac’s, its largest branded offering and the #1 multi-outlet store brand for pork rinds in the US, alongside its other brands: Turkey Creek, Don Rudy, Cazo de Oro and Domingo’s. Pork rinds are one of the fastest growing snack items, bolstered by the emerging interest of consumers to add these products to their diets as a nutritional option. Consumers have discovered that pork rinds or “chicharrónes” are a snack that is rich in protein, gluten-free and contains no carbohydrates, which appeals to a variety of consumers, particularly millennials. Evans’ growth is also enhanced by strong demographic trends and the Company’s continuous innovation of its offerings, flavors and packaging.

Benestar, a Catalan word that translates as wellness or well-being, is an apt new platform name to represent a product like chicharrónes. Under Benestar, the Evans operations will continue to be uniquely positioned to capitalize on this rapidly growing and better-for-you snack category.

Katten represented Highlander Partners with a team including Dallas Corporate partners Mark Solomon (Picture), Peter Bogdanow and Bill Rivers, Dallas Corporate associate Alison Krieser, New York Transactional Tax Planning partner Vicky Rosamond, Dallas Transactional Tax Planning special counsel Aaron Pinegar, Chicago Environmental and Workplace Safety partner Nancy Rich, New York Employment Law and Litigation partner Michelle Gyves, Washington, DC Intellectual Property partner Sean Wooden, and Chicago Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation associate Andrew Skowronski.

Involved fees earner: Peter Bogdanow – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Michelle Gyves – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Alison Yuko Krieser – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Aaron Pinegar – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Nancy Rich – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; William Rivers – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Victoria Rosamond – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Andrew Skowronski – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Mark Solomon – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Sean Wooden – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP;

Law Firms: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP;

Clients: Highlander Partners LLP;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti