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Kainos Capital to sell Olde Thompson to Olam Food Ingredients

Kainos Capital (Kainos), a food and consumer-focused private equity firm, is to sell its portfolio company Olde Thompson to Olam Food Ingredients, an operating group of global food and agri-business Olam International.

Olde Thompson was acquired by Kainos in May 2018.
Headquartered in Oxnard, California, Olde Thompson is the largest dedicated manufacturer and supplier of private label dry spices and seasonings in North America. Last year Olde Thompson acquired Gel Spice, which further established it as a leader in the spice category. The acquisition created a differentiated bi-coastal manufacturing footprint, unlocked additional channels, and expanded the company’s product offering into pouches, extracts and single serve seasonings for meal kits and other applications.
The Kainos team has invested over USD2 billion of equity in over 75 investments with a total value over USD12 billion over the last 25 years. Kainos specializes in investing in family and founder owned businesses where it can be a value-added partner and instil a culture of operational excellence through its sales development, manufacturing, supply chain and administrative expertise.
Andrew Rosen, Managing Partner of Kainos, says, “Our investment in Olde Thompson was driven by our thesis in the growing importance of spices and flavourings as consumers seek bolder taste profiles. After meeting Jeff Shumway, the founder of Olde Thompson, nearly a decade ago, we ultimately partnered in 2018 to pursue our shared vision to grow Olde Thompson into the largest dedicated private label provider of spices and seasonings. We accomplished this by investing in our manufacturing capabilities and customer development resources, and the acquisition of Gel Spice from the Engel family in 2020 helped accelerate this strategy and was instrumental in attracting the interest of a terrific strategic acquirer in Olam.”
Jeff Shumway, Chairman of Olde Thompson, says: “Our family acquired Olde Thompson in 1966 when the company primarily sold pepper mills that remain a fixture in homes across the country. Over the years, with the help of our incredible employees, we transformed our company into one of the largest spice companies in the US. A turning point in our history was when we partnered with Kainos and its operations team, enabling us to attract world-class talent to professionalize our management team and embark on a capacity expansion and automation plan to make us one of the most efficient spices producers in the industry. We have had a relationship with Olam for more than 15 years, and this broader partnership as part of the Olam family represents an exciting new chapter for Olde Thompson.”
David Sugarman, CEO of Olde Thompson, says: “The acquisition of Olde Thompson by Olam is a terrific outcome for all of our key stakeholders. For our customers, this partnership pushes Olde Thompson to the forefront of ESG as it provides access to Olam’s extraordinary international sourcing capabilities and spice expertise that will allow us to provide a new level of traceability and transparency to the marketplace. Our employees will benefit from additional resources and opportunities that will accelerate our growth even further.”
Rosen says: “This transaction with Olam is a terrific outcome for Olde Thompson and the company’s future has never been brighter.”
Completion of the transaction is expected in Q2 2021. Sawaya Partners LLC and Lazard served as financial advisors to Olde Thompson. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel to Olde Thompson.

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