Milwaukee-based private equity firm Borgman Capital has acquired SouthEastern Meats, a Birmingham, Alabama-based frozen food producer who has plans to expand its offerings in the Midwest.
SouthEastern Meats distributes and produces vegetables, seafood, meat, and a variety of ready-to-heat products including sandwiches, cookies and onion rings. The company is most known for its "Pick 5" program, which allows customers to mix and match any 5 items from its more than 70 food offerings for $19.99.
Consumer shopping and eating habits have changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is part of what made SouthEastern Meats an attractive acquisition, said Sequoya Borgman, Borgman Capital founder and managing director.
“There’s been such an increase in consumers shopping in grocery stores since the pandemic,” Borgman said. “I think that’s going to be a long-term trend from the consumer’s standpoint, to continue to eat at home.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, SEM Foods Investment, LLC raised $8 million, which is related to the acquisition, but not the full purchase price for the company, Borgman said. The funds were raised by 37 investors, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
SouthEastern Meats’ distribution footprint extends to 23 states primarily in the south and on the east coast. The company does distribute products to some Illinois and Michigan grocery stores, and now has plans to launch its products in Wisconsin grocery stores, Borgman said.
“The company has established itself as the premier player in the Pick 5 grocery store offering,” Borgman said in a statement. “We look forward to introducing more consumers to their unique product offering.”
Gilman Cheese, a manufacturer of shelf-stable cheese based in Gilman, Wisconsin, is the only other food company in Borgman Capital’s portfolio.
The private equity firm has become more focused on the food space since acquiring Gilman, Borgman said, adding that food companies typically do well in retraction economic cycles, especially when their products offer value and savings.
SouthEastern Meats marks Borgman Capital’s third acquisition this year and 12th acquisition since the firm was founded in 2017, according to a press release.