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Castle Harlan acquires Gold Star Foods

Middle market private equity firm Castle Harlan has acquired Gold Star Foods, a nutritional food distributor to K-12 schools in California, Arizona and Nevada.

The seller was the Chicago private equity firm Prospect Partners.
Gold Star, based in Ontario, California, serves 380 school districts comprised of more than 3,500 schools, enabling them to provide students nutritional meals through federal and state programmes for breakfasts and lunches that include programme-approved healthy ingredients. 
Gold Star's proprietary software platform and expertise in USDA commodity tracking provides a valuable service to schools, which receive reimbursements from federal and state governments based on compliance with strict and increasingly complex regulatory standards.
Gold Star purchases products from more than 600 food manufacturers and farms and sells over 6,000 products of fresh bread and produce, as well as refrigerated, frozen and dry menu items.
"Gold Star is a proven leader in the stable and moderately growing school food distribution market, and it promotes healthy nutritional meals to its customers," says Bill Pruellage, co-president of Castle Harlan.  “Gold Star has the scale to acquire smaller competitors in a fragmented market, as well as to expand into newer territories, such as Northern California and other Western states, additional product lines and new end-markets."

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