San Francisco private equity investorEncore Consumer Capitalsaid it completed the $87 million sale of its portfolio company,Aidells Sausage Company, Inc. toSara Lee Corporation.

“Aidells is an iconic brand in the San Francisco Bay Area and we are pleased to have played a role in its rapid national expansion," said Robert Brown, Encore's managing director. "CEO Bob McHenry’s passion, leadership and creativity successfully transformed the company from a craft sausage business to a leading brand respected across broad product categories and channels of distribution. Aidells will be the cornerstone of the newly formed Gourmet Foods group within Sara Lee and will undoubtedly continue to expand on its position as the leader in the premium sausage category. Our investment in Aidells delivered extraordinary returns to Encore and our investors.”

Encore said Aidells "pioneered" the premium sausage category and offers a full product line of poultry-based products, such as Chicken & Apple, Cajun Style Andouille and Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese sausages. Aidells also offers a line of meatball products in flavors such as Teriyaki Pineapple and Buffalo-Style.

“Aidells’ passion for making great-tasting, natural and organic sausages has attracted a loyal consumer following and shaped a truly premium brand,” said CJ Fraleigh, chief executive officer, Sara Lee North America. “Adding Aidells’ great products and talented team of employees to our organization will expand Sara Lee’s presence in the premium meats category and help us to drive even greater innovation.”

Houlihan Lokey, Chicago, also acted as financial advisor for Aidells.