Arbor Investments (“Arbor”) announced today the sale of its Fund II portfolio company Fieldbrook Foods (“Fieldbrook” or the “Company”) to Wells Enterprises, Inc., the third largest ice cream manufacturer in the United States and owner of the Blue Bunny brand. With a history dating back to 1914 and headquartered in Dunkirk, NY, Fieldbrook is a leading private label and co-manufacturer of ice cream and frozen novelty products including ice cream sandwiches, cups, cones and stick novelties. Fieldbrook’s products are distributed to all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Terms of the sale were withheld.
Arbor acquired a controlling interest in Fieldbrook in 2010, marking their final investment out of Arbor Fund II. During the firm’s ownership, Fieldbrook grew revenue nearly 70% while completing the successful acquisitions of Mister Cookie Face and Washburn Dairy. With 30 production lines, Fieldbrook ranks among the largest ice cream manufacturers in the U.S. and can produce over 120 million dozen frozen novelties and 25 million gallons of ice cream annually.
A key to Fieldbook’s success was the recruitment of Robin Galloway, former CFO of The Schwan Food Company, to join Fieldbrook as CEO in January 2018. “Robin was a proven business leader with strong experience and knowledge of the ice cream industry. She made an immediate impact at a critical time in the Company’s lifecycle by implementing key initiatives to increase profitability and solidify relationships with our blue-chip customers. I couldn’t be more pleased with Robin’s leadership and the momentum she brought to the business,” said Arbor Co-Founder and President Joseph Campolo.
Fieldbrook CEO Robin Galloway commented, “With a relentless focus on customer service, we’re honored to be the partner of choice for so many leading retailers and branded food companies. I am extremely proud of our team for the significant operational improvements and measurable results we were able to achieve.”
Houlihan Lokey acted as exclusive financial advisor to Arbor in connection with the transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as Arbor’s legal counsel.
This sale also brings about the conclusion of Arbor Fund II. Raised in 2006, Arbor Fund II generated a 2.5X net return on invested capital and a 19.5% net IRR which, based on publicly available industry data, is believed to place Arbor Fund II among the top 10 of 2006 vintage private equity funds.
Commenting on the completion of the fund, Campolo said, “We’re elated with the performance of Fund II and the returns we produced for our investors. To generate such strong, consistent results during one of the most difficult vintages in private equity truly underscores the Arbor difference.”