PHILADELPHIA, November 27, 2018 – Graham Partners, a private investment firm targeting industrial technology and advanced manufacturing companies, is pleased to announce the successful sale of Universal Pure Holdings, LLC (“Universal Pure”). Headquartered in Villa Rica, Georgia, Universal Pure is a leading independent provider of high pressure processing (HPP), cold storage, and other value-added services to food and beverage manufacturers. The company offers customers in attractive end channels a one-stop-shop for HPP and logistics services, from warehousing to distribution.
Graham Partners’ Investment Theme Program led to the identification of HPP as a potentially high growth niche within food and beverage technology. HPP is a method of pasteurizing food without the use of high temperatures, chemical additives or preservatives, which provides a clean label to food manufacturers and extends shelf life for retailers, club stores, and food service operators. After conducting an industry study in 2012, Graham Partners began a direct calling effort targeting businesses in the industry, which ultimately led to the proprietary acquisition of Universal Pure.
Graham partnered actively with Universal Pure, investing in people, facilities, and technology. During Graham’s ownership, Universal Pure acquired the business of a competitor in the industry, added three locations, and substantially enhanced its executive leadership team. As a result of these efforts, Universal Pure is a leading outsourced provider of HPP and cold storage services, with four locations strategically positioned across the United States. Additionally, Graham Partners supported Universal Pure’s management in its pursuit of several topline growth initiatives to drive awareness and adoption of HPP, including an annual HPP Summit™, whitepapers, webinars, and being a founding member of the Cold Pressure Council. Ultimately, these efforts helped the company achieve 113% revenue growth during Graham’s hold.
Andrew Snyder, Managing Principal at Graham Partners, states, “We identified a conversion in the HPP space and knew that Universal Pure was the right business to partner with, given its strong industry position and rapid growth. We are proud to have helped build a leading outsourced provider of HPP services and we wish Universal Pure continued success under new ownership.” Mark Duffy, CEO of Universal Pure, adds, “Our partnership with Graham has been very rewarding and we are thankful for their support and the resources that helped Universal Pure capitalize on the conversion in the industry. In particular, Graham’s network of experienced industry professionals, coupled with its operational background, helped position Universal Pure for long-term success.” Steven Graham, CEO of Graham Partners, concludes, “Universal Pure is an excellent example of a high growth, conversion-driven company that was identified through our investment research program. With the right resources and team in place, the business exhibited strong growth post-acquisition, and we are confident Universal Pure will continue this trend under new ownership.”
Universal Pure is a leading independent provider of HPP, cold storage, and other value-added services to food and beverage manufacturers. Universal Pure’s turnkey operations deliver a customized, end-to-end solution from manufacturing facility to final destination and serve a diverse, blue chip customer base across key product categories and high growth end markets. HPP is a high growth food processing technology applied to food and beverage products using hydrostatic pressure to eliminate foodborne pathogens without the use of chemicals or additives. This process extends shelf life 2-10 times longer than alternatives without compromising taste, texture, or nutritional value.
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