Tropicale Foods Acquires Paleteria La Michoacana

January 2021

Tropicale Foods and Paleteria La Michoacana join forces to create leading Hispanic frozen novelty company.

Ontario, California, January 19, 2021 – Wind Point Partners and portfolio company Tropicale Foods (“Tropicale” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer of authentic Hispanic-inspired frozen novelty products under the Helados Mexico brand, are pleased to announce the acquisition of Paleteria La Michoacana (“PLM”), a portfolio company of Canum Capital Partners and Greyrock Capital Group. PLM is a leading manufacturer of frozen novelty products under the La Michoacana brand, producing an assortment of traditional Hispanic offerings including paletas, bolis, and mangonada cups which are sold nationwide at multi-outlet retailers, convenience stores, and traditional grocery outlets.

As legend has it, the first “Paleteria” appeared in the 1940s in a town called Tocumbo, a fertile sugarcane state in Michoacán, Mexico. PLM brought paletas to the United States more than 25 years ago, with the Company’s humble beginnings tracing back to a single pushcart in central California. The name La Michoacana and the logo image of the young girl from Michoacán soon became a trusted and preferred brand across the country. Today, PLM is a leading manufacturer of Hispanic-inspired frozen novelty products and operates a 45,000 square foot, Safe Quality Food (“SQF”) certified facility in Modesto, California.

PLM and Tropicale share several similarities spanning their entrepreneurial success stories, tremendous growth, and high-quality, authentic products. The combination further enhances Tropicale’s leadership position in branded Hispanic-inspired frozen novelty products. Tropicale will continue to offer both the Helados Mexico and La Michoacana brands, as well as continue operations via existing facilities in Ontario and Modesto, California. The combination will enable additional investments in marketing, new products, and new formulations that will help accelerate category growth. While relatively small compared to the broader U.S. frozen novelty market, the U.S. market for Hispanic frozen novelty products is faster-growing and boasts among the most loyal of consumer bases. Tropicale and PLM will continue to lead market growth by taking great pride in providing customers with the highest-quality, most authentic, and great tasting products.

Steven Schiller, CEO of Tropicale, commented, “I am thrilled to welcome the PLM team to Tropicale. The cultures of our two companies are very similar, making this a natural partnership. PLM has built a terrific business with a great brand, customer base, team, and operation. Our plan is to invest behind PLM and the La Michoacana brand and leverage our combined capabilities to accelerate growth for our customers, continue to delight our consumers, and create great experiences for our employees.”

Joe Lawler, Managing Director with Wind Point Partners, stated, “The combination of PLM and Tropicale is an important part of our value creation plan to grow in the Hispanic frozen novelty segment. This acquisition will enhance both companies’ ability to serve customers through continued innovation and multiple manufacturing facilities with greater capabilities. Additionally, we have been very impressed with the PLM management team which will be a terrific addition to the Tropicale organization.”

Brandon Gregorio and Robert Spigner, co-founders of Canum Capital Partners, commented, “We’re proud of the industry-leading growth and operational transformation executed by PLM over the last four years. This combination of strong, recognized brands unites two customer-driven companies with highly complementary capabilities. The financial backing of Wind Point Partners and our continued investment in the combined company will enable a value creation plan that will accelerate growth.”

Wind Point is an active investor in the food industry, with select current and recent investments including Stir Foods, Evans Food Group, and Gehl Foods. PLM represents the first acquisition for Tropicale under Wind Point’s ownership after partnering with Wind Point in December 2019. Tropicale will continue to seek strategic acquisition opportunities, with a focus on leading branded frozen novelty businesses.

Winston & Strawn served as legal counsel to Tropicale. Piper Sandler served as financial advisor and Mayer Brown served as legal counsel to PLM.

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“The combination of PLM and Tropicale is an important part of our value creation plan...this acquisition will enhance both companies’ ability to serve customers through continued innovation and multiple manufacturing facilities with greater capabilities.”
Joe Lawler, Managing Director