PHILADELPHIA, February 11, 2014 – Graham Partners, a private investment firm focused on investing in businesses with advanced manufacturing technologies, innovative product development capabilities, and strong growth potential, is pleased to announce that a subsidiary of its portfolio company Universal, a leading provider of high pressure pasteurization (“HPP”), cold storage, and other value-added services to domestic food and beverage manufacturers, has purchased the assets of Global Leading Foods HPP, LLC (“GL Foods”). GL Foods is an independent HPP toll processor operating through a facility in Texas. The acquisition provides Universal with broader geographic reach, access to new customers, and the opportunity to serve new, diverse end markets.
HPP is a high-growth technology that pasteurizes food and beverage products through the use of hydrostatic pressure, eliminating foodborne pathogens without the use of chemicals or additives and extending product shelf life without compromising taste, texture, or nutritional value. The acquisition of GL Foods represents the second step Universal has taken to achieve its core strategic objective of expanding its HPP footprint – in this case, into the Southwest. Just four months ago, Universal completed its first expansion, into the Southeast, by developing a new, 90,000 s.f. facility in Georgia. Graham and Universal are focused on continuing Universal’s expansion into new geographic regions in order to meet increased demand for HPP.
“Graham Partners has developed a successful formula for sourcing proprietary, niche investment opportunities, and Universal and GL Foods are a testimony to this program’s success,” stated Andrew Snyder, Managing Principal at Graham Partners. “We identified HPP as a cutting edge technology that delivers the food safety, quality, and nutritional value desired by consumers as well as producers and retailers. We initiated our investment in Universal with the vision of building the leading HPP platform capable of delivering elevated food freshness and wellness nationwide.”
About Universal (www.universalcoldstorage.com): Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Universal is a leading, independent provider of high pressure pasteurization (“HPP”), cold storage, and other value-added services to food and beverage manufacturers. The company is comprised of two complementary divisions, Universal Pasteurization Company and its subsidiaries, the nation’s leading HPP toll processor with locations in Lincoln, NE, Villa Rica, GA and Coppell, TX, and Universal Cold Storage, a provider of cold storage and value-added services based in Lincoln, NE. High pressure pasteurization is a non-thermal, non-chemical based method of pasteurization that uses hydrostatic pressure to eliminate foodborne pathogens and offers the ability to produce all natural products with improved nutritional value and extended shelf life. HPP technology is one of the most dynamic and fast growing segments of the broader food industry.
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