Riverside buys wine-packaging business

The Cleveland and New York middle-market specialist has acquired Maverick Enterprises, a company that makes neck and cork sleeves for major California vinters.

The Riverside Company has acquired Ukiah, California-based Maverick Enterprises, a niche packaging company that makes the sleeves found at the top of wine bottles. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The acquisition marks the New York and Cleveland firm’s eleventh of the year, according to press release. The equity for the deal came from Riverside’s $750 million fund, closed in 2003.

Maverick was founded in 1993. It makes neck and cork sleeves for many California vinters including Beringer, Beaulieu Vineyards, Clos du Bois, Fetzer, Kendall Jackson, Korbel, and Robert Mondavi. 

Karen Pajarillo, a principal in Riverside’s San Francisco office, said in the statement that wine consumption in the US is growing faster than in any other country. “The market for premium California wines – the niche that Maverick predominantly serves – has grown over 10% each year since the early 1980s. That trend is expected to continue as per capita consumption increases and consumers ‘trade up’ from lower priced wines. Maverick itself intrigued us because its growth has been based on superior product quality and service to its clients.”

Maverick will be led by James Bergerson, a packaging industry veteran who has teamed with Riverside on the deal. Members of Maverick’s management team also participated.

Financing for the transaction was provided by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Since its inception in 1988, Riverside has invested in 89 acquisitions – 42 platform companies and 47 add-ons – across a variety of industries through its four funds and other investment vehicles.