OpEx Awards: Americas overview

The winners of the Americas categories run the gamut from companies baking cookies to manufacturers of titanium castings and wellness products.

It would be difficult to pack in more variety than this year’s winners from the Americas region. Arbor Investments’ Rise Baking Company, Blue Point Capital Partners’ Selmet and L Catterton’s Zarbee’s Naturals were all strong entries but all very different – running the gamut from baking cookies to manufacturing titanium castings and wellness products.

“For all three PE-firm winners, intentional operational engineering and value creation were crucial aspects of the investments and the stellar outcomes,” says awards judge Steven Kaplan. He notes that L Catterton achieved “almost unheard-of growth in revenues”, a performance that fellow judge Michael McKenna describes as “the epitome of the OpEx awards”.

With Zarbee’s, L Catterton took a four-person company and made it the market leader, growing from one product to a range of products and from one region to a national presence.

Blue Point Capital Partners also achieved impressive growth with Selmet, adding 600 employees to what had been a team of just 250. “Blue Point’s investment in Selmet also generated an impressive 5x growth in EBITDA and a 15x-plus MOIC. They did this by helping the company expand geographically, upgrade its salesforce, improve its pricing, increase its range of products and reduce costs,” says Kaplan.

Arbor Investments’ hold of Rise Baking, meanwhile, shows the importance of installing the right leadership and following through on a solid thesis. As McKenna says: “The experienced team knew how to manage national customer relationships, but still deliver service like a small local bakery. This was key to building a profitable enterprise with good sustainable market share.”

For the full list of winners, click here.

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