Castle Harlan Portfolio Company Acquires School Meal Supplier in Southern California

June 19, 2017 James Heinsman Hedge Fund News

Compliance company Gold Star Foods acquired A&R Wholesale Distributors, in what is the third buyout deal made by Gold Star since it came under the ownership of Castle Harlan, Inc, a New York private equity company.

Gold Star Foods helps local school districts all over the USA adhere to the many state and federal rules and regulations related to government funding for school meal programs. They also insure compliance with the many regulations that govern nutritional content of school meals. A&R is a supplier of foods to schools in Southern California, and has been  for over 30 years.

Castle Harlan Senior Managing Director David B Pittaway expressed his thoughts about the deal:

“Like Gold Star, A&R is experienced in dealing with the complexities of the USDA Child Nutrition Program and helps to create meals that adhere to USDA nutritional standards and commodity guidelines. The combination of Gold Star and A&R will allow customers to benefit from access to new product categories, an increased number of SKUs, and higher service levels.”

The monetary value of the deal was not released to the public. Jeff Kuriel will continue to lead A&R from its plant in Anaheim, California. Eventually the headquarters will move to Gold Star’s location in Ontario, also in Southern California. When the move is complete Mr. Kuriel will join the Gold Star executive leadership group.

During the first quarter of 2017 Castle Harlan invested over $40 million in Gold Star Foods, bringing the total of their investment to over $60 million during the past year. Part of Castle Harlan’s investment was used to purchase Colyar Technology Solutions. Colyar is a designer, developer and marketer of food distribution and compliance management software. A new distribution center was built in Dixon, California, to support the expansion of Gold Star into the Northern California market.

“The acquisition of Colyar furthered Gold Star’s strategic shift into providing technology-enabled national school nutrition solutions to both states and local school districts,” said Patrick Zyla, Vice President of Castle Harlan. “Colyar’s web-based tools help to simplify the complex regulatory burdens faced by food providers in lunchrooms across the nation. Colyar assists in managing federal dollars by providing a platform to manage the application and administration of claims to the USDA, providing a link among local school districts, states and the USDA.”

A&R Wholesale Distributors, Castle Harlan, Castle Harlan Inc, Gold Star Foods, Jeff Kuriel,

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