Disposable food-service products maker Spirit Brands Inc. of Andover, Mass., has new ownership, as industry veteran Don McCann has teamed up with its management and private equity firm Prospect Partners LLC to acquire it.
The deal closed the week of Jan. 23. Officials formed Spirit Foodservice Promotional Products Inc. to acquire the company, which they plan to grow via new product lines and acquisitions.
``The management felt that the prior owners did not go after add-on acquisitions as aggressively as they would have liked,'' said McCann in a Jan. 31 telephone interview. ``We are developing a short list of potential acquisitions.''
McCann will serve as president and chief executive officer of Spirit Brands. The company's current management team will stay intact. That group includes Joseph Pierro, vice president of sales and marketing; Robert Morisette, vice president of operations; and Peter Maki, chief financial officer.
Spirit Brands has been in business since 1934, started by inventor Jay Sindler two months after Prohibition ended, according to the company's Web site. The firm extrudes polypropylene straws and sip/stirs, and injection molds polystyrene food-service bar accessories. Its most famous product is the Swizzle Stick.
Headquarters will remain in Andover. The firm will continue its injection molding and extrusion operation in Dallas, and its extrusion operation in Commerce, Calif. The company employs 162.
Bill Glastris, principal with Prospect Partners, said ownership had been shared by a combination of outside investors, private capital firm Capital Resource Partners of Boston, and the members of management who are remaining.
``We've been looking at a lot of plastics businesses of late,'' Glastris said. ``This is a company that has a great market position. It needed a little bit of running room, a little bit of leadership to allow it to implement the business plan that it brings to the table.''
It's an unusual change for McCann. Of the companies in which he has invested with Prospect Partners for 13 years, this is the first he will run personally.
``We like what we see, obviously,'' McCann said. ``We like the company. They do some very unique things. It's in the plastics business, which I know.
``The exiting CEO was not going to be continuing with the company, so there was a void. I prefer to be running the company,'' he said.
McCann has his pedigree in plastics, formerly owning Memphis, Tenn.-based Elm Packaging Co. LP, which he sold in 1998. Prospect Partners invested in Elm with McCann.
The equity group's other packaging, but nonplastics-related, investments with McCann include Knight Packaging Group Inc., a current holding, and Wrap Pack Products Corp., which it sold off in 2004.