New York, October 21, 2019 – Centre Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, today announced that it has made an investment in Wisconsin Cheese Group Holding, LLC and affiliates (“WCG” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer of branded and private label Hispanic foods, including cheeses, desserts, meats and spices. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1985 and based in St. Paul, Minnesota, WCG maintains an attractive portfolio of trusted, authentic Hispanic food brands, including La Morenita, El Viajero, Reynaldo’s, El Chilar, Lisy, and Orale!, alongside extensive private label capabilities. The Company has nationwide distribution with a strong presence within the mass, club, grocery and specialty / bodega channels and has built an outstanding reputation for customer service and product quality.
Centre Operating Partner Brian McInerney has joined WCG as its CEO. Mr. McInerney has spent his entire career in the consumer products industry and previously served as CEO of Glacier Water Services, where he drove meaningful growth throughout his tenure. Danette Bucsko, former CFO of Bellisio Foods, will join the Company as CFO.
Bruce Pollack, Managing Partner of Centre Partners, stated, “We are very pleased to partner with Brian and Danette, who have joined a very talented and committed team at WCG. WCG is well-positioned to continue to capitalize on the large and growing Hispanic foods category and we look forward to our ownership of the business as it expands into new channels, categories and customers.”
Brian McInerney said, “I am very excited to partner with Centre Partners and benefit from its more than 30 years of experience in the consumer products space. WCG has built a leading, authentic Hispanic foods platform and I am thrilled to lead the team to capitalize on the excellent opportunities ahead of us. Our mission is to help accelerate growth by investing in people, brands and products, and we look forward to delivering best-in-class Hispanic food products to an even greater number of customers and consumers.”
“Wisconsin Cheese Group’s commitment to high-quality products and superior customer service has enabled it to become an established market leader and a highly strategic partner for its customers,” added Michael Schnabel, a Partner at Centre Partners. “We are very impressed with the Company’s achievements to date and are excited to work together with the entire management team to reach the next level of growth.”
Dechert LLP provided legal counsel to Centre Partners.
About Centre Partners
Founded in 1986, Centre Partners is a leading middle-market private equity firm focusing on the consumer and healthcare sectors, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Centre has invested over $2 billion of equity capital in more than 80 transactions since its inception. Centre seeks to partner with founders and management teams to build exceptional businesses. Centre Partners provides management teams access to its unique resources, which includes an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.
Headquartered in Monroe, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cheese Group is a leading manufacturer of Hispanic foods, including cheeses, desserts, meats and spices. The Company has a number of authentic Hispanic and Caribbean brands including La Morenita, El Viajero, Reynaldo’s, El Chilar, Lisy, and Orale!, alongside broad private label capabilities. Wisconsin Cheese Group maintains a national footprint with multiple best-in-class facilities that serve a wide range of end markets.
Mark Semer or Cameron Njaa