Private equity Olympus Partners has bitten into a plastic serviceware business and it is hungry for more plastics-related fare.
Olympus announced Feb. 16 that it bought commercial foodservice major G.E.T. Enterprises LLC, a supplier of molded melamine-formaldehyde and related serving items.
“We will use this as an acquisition platform,” said Olympus partner Mike Horgan in a phone interview.
Olympus has a history of investing in plastics-related companies and it plans to boost its stake in the sector.
“We are very familiar with the [plastics] supply chain and end markets,” Horgan explained.
Olympus paid “several hundred million dollars” for G.E.T., which is headquartered in Houston. The supplier of dishware and drinkware is Olympus's fifth investment in its $2.3 billion sixth fund. The Stamford, Conn., firm manages more than $5.5 billion on behalf of corporate pension funds, endowment funds and state-sponsored retirement programs.
“G.E.T. is a market leading player in the evolving food service industry that provides its customers differentiated products with a clear path to continued growth,” Horgan said.
G.E.T. touts its products as break-resistant alternatives to conventional commercial dinnerware made of glass, ceramics and metal. In addition to MF goods, it offers other material options, including resin-coated aluminum.
Horgan said Olympus has been a long-time investor in plastics businesses. Several years ago it merged polyethylene tank rotomolder Norwesco with its Snyder Industries subsidiary to create Tank Holdings Corp., which it sold in 2012. Last summer it sold Waddington Group, a large producer of premium rigid plastic foodservice disposables. Last fall it bought Liqui-Box Holdings Inc., a leader in bag-in-box packaging that contain PE liners.
Horgan said Olympus will run G.E.T. independent of its other businesses. It has a stake in fast food restaurants, but that does not afford much opportunity to integrate it with foodservice provider G.E.T.
Olympus owns NPC International, the largest Pizza Hut franchisee and the 9th largest restaurant unit operator in the United States. Olympus also owns Centerplate Inc., a provider of event hospitality services such as food and beverage and catering logistics.
Olympus has a lot of capital to invest, according Horgan. It will use some of it to help G.E.T. grow organically and through acquisitions. The private equity deems G.E.T.'s management is “top notch” and the serviceware supplier has been growing impressively in the past few years, Horgan said.
“I am confident that we will continue to provide value to our customers and build on the acquisition momentum from the past several years,” stated G.E.T. CEO Heidi Modaro in a news release.
G.E.T. boasts a 3,500-strong product line and such customers as Boston Market, Captain D's, TGI Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters. Last year it bought foodservice supplier Clipper Mill and Bugambilia International Inc., known for its resin-coated aluminum displayware. Horgan said G.E.T. manufactures at its Houston operation and also sources products from other manufacturers, including offshore companies.