Industry News

New owner for MaMa Rosa's pizza

August 5, 2011
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San Francisco equity investor Huntsman Gay Global Capital (HGGC) said it purchased refrigerated pizza processor MaMa Rosa’s Pizza, LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Sidney, Ohio, MaMa Rosa annually sells more than 3 million cases of large pizzas for family meals and mini snack pizzas. Officials say the company distributes to more than 10,000 supermarkets, warehouse club stores, pharmacies and convenience stores throughout the United States and Mexico.

MaMa Rosa's also processes and markets refrigerated pizza products under the Mama Angelina's, Our Old Italian and Lean Lifestyle™ brand names; and also co-packs for several of the largest food companies in the United States.

“MaMa Rosa’s is a great business that has experienced impressive growth over 30 years and has very strong distribution channels across the US and beyond,” said Ryan Stratton, principal at Huntsman Gay. “We believe MaMa Rosa’s presents a tremendous opportunity to develop a sizable platform, and we fully intend to grow the company through add-on acquisitions of other food businesses over time. For Huntsman Gay, this deal also adds further dimension to an already diverse portfolio as we continue to look across a wide variety of industries and sectors for the best investment opportunities.”

HGGC hired refrigerated and frozen food industry veteran Gene Welka as MaMa Rosa's new CEO.

Huntsman Gay said purchased the company out of its debut $1.1 billion fund from a group of investors led by its majority owner, Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC, a private equity firm based in Shawnee Mission, Kan., that specializes in investments in food manufacturing businesses.

“We are extremely proud of the progress MaMa Rosa’s has made since 2006 under Plaza Belmont’s ownership and the leadership of Bill Mackin, who served as MaMa Rosa’s president,” said Bob Parnow, president of Plaza Belmont Management Group II LLC, the manager of Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC. “We wanted to ensure that the new owners would have the necessary operational expertise, as well as the financial resources, to provide growth opportunities for the company and its employees. Huntsman Gay demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of MaMa Rosa’s opportunity and a commitment to long-term success. Not only does this transaction provide excellent returns for our investors, but, just as when Mike Gilardi sold the business to ConAgra in the late ’90s, every employee of the company will share in a portion of the profits from the sale.”

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