Tennessee Valley Ventures(TVV), a Southeast lower middle-market private equity firm, said it sold two of its food processing investments -- Albertville Quality FoodsandSouthern Quality Meats-- to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, LLC, a global private equity firm based in Miami, Florida.

TVV, Nashville, Tenn., said the sale of both companies allowed it "to realize a 14x multiple on invested capital over the life of the investment, including proceeds received from prior transactions."

In 2000, TVV invested in Albertville Quality Foods, an Albertville, Ala.,  processor of breaded and marinated chicken products for the foodservice channel. In 2002, TVV acquired Southern Quality Meats, a Pontotoc, Miss., producer of country-style pork sausage products for the foodservice channel. 

Between 2000 and 2009, officials said TVV and management significantly grew revenues, primarily through organic growth initiatives that included capital investments in capacity expansions, production automation projects, and information system upgrades. During that period, the combined entities added many valuable new customers including, Applebee's, Sonic, Chili's, Shoney's, and Wal-Mart.

"TVV's strategic sourcing advantage and patient investment approach have paid off with superior returns to our investors in an otherwise difficult investing environment," said Andrew W. Byrd, TVV president. "Our objective is to identify and acquire well-managed, consistently profitable companies in attractive niches and then partner with founding teams and stakeholders to achieve operational excellence, strong customer growth and market expansion. Our goal is to both grow and build highly attractive businesses and then apply a well-executed marketing and sales process to generate superior returns."

"Andrew and his team were integral in positioning Albertville and Southern to maximize profit and growth," said Don Haynie, president of AQF and SQM. "From the beginning, TVV understood the market forces in play. They worked closely with our senior management team supporting the strategic hires, R&D and infrastructure investments that ultimately drove customer acquisitions and led to the successful recapitalization of both companies."