New Water Capital (New Water) has sold Custom Made Meals (CMM), a leading U.S. provider of fresh, handmade, oven-ready entrees, appetizers and sides for grocery retailers, to middle-market private equity firm Stellex Capital Management.
“Our goal at New Water is to support and invest in businesses with enduring value propositions,” said New Water Capital partner Jason Neimark. “We are very proud of CMM’s success, and we have every confidence the company will continue its remarkable growth trajectory and success under its new ownership.”
“As consumer demand for fresh, ready-to-cook foods has skyrocketed in recent years, the CMM team’s creative expertise, skilled management and established relationships within the industry have positioned the company, with New Water’s operational leadership and support, as a leading contender in the U.S. marketplace,” said CMM President and CEO Dale Easdon. “The entire CMM team is excited to be part of this next stage in the company’s success.”
New Water Capital acquired CMM in 2017 as a part of a broader thesis that identified significant growth in the fresh food category, in particular for companies like CMM that were providing a meaningful value proposition to both the retail customer and the end consumer. During its partnership with New Water, CMM invested in the leadership team, manufacturing infrastructure and automation technologies to significantly expand capacity, streamline the supply chain and scale the business. In its four years as a New Water Capital company, CMM expanded its U.S. customer base from approximately 6,000 grocery retail locations to currently serving more than 15,000 retailer locations nationwide with unrivaled product SKU breadth, depth and complexity.
New Water also invested successfully in CMM’s human capital: CMM was named a Top Colorado Workplace by The Denver Post for the past three years. The Denver Post also honored Easdon as a Top CEO of a mid-sized company in 2021. CMM CFO and Chief Administrative Officer Sean Saunders recently was named a 2021 Titan 100, a program recognizing the top CEOs and C-level executives in Colorado.
New Water Capital’s success with CMM is exemplary of New Water’s investment strategy, which focuses on providing funding support and operational expertise to promising companies in active market sectors, empowering them to achieve their next level of growth.
New Water continues to remain active investing in the food space, which includes its current portfolio companies Pegasus Foods, a leading contractor manufacturer of frozen appetizers and snacks, and The Perfect Bite Co., a leading research, development and ideation firm for the frozen food industry.
Terms of the transaction, which was facilitated by Baird, were not disclosed.