NEW YORK — Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity firm, today announced it has sold a portfolio company, Gold Star Foods, to Highview Capital, to be merged with Highview’s portfolio company, Good Source Solutions, Inc. Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Good Source is a leading specialty food distributor to customers in the education, corrections and foodservice markets, among others.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Gold Star, under Castle Harlan’s ownership, grew by 57 percent in net sales and 153 percent in EBITDA. It serves more than 3,500 schools with 4.2 million meals daily.
Castle Harlan acquired Gold Star, headquartered in Ontario, CA, in April 2014 and oversaw its expansion to become the largest US food distributor focused primarily on K-12 schools and a source of value-added services and knowledge of USDA school food programs.
Castle Harlan expanded the reach of Gold Star by upgrading the management team, acquiring two more food distributors, instituting numerous warehouse productivity programs and opening a 188,000-square-foot food distribution center in Northern California. Castle Harlan then purchased Colyar Technology Solutions, a leading designer, developer and marketer of food distribution and compliance-management software for the K-12 school markets. Gold Star and Colyar developed Cartewheel, an integrated, seamless technology solution for use in school menu planning.
Castle Harlan will retain ownership of Colyar, which facilitates management of USDA child nutrition programs in 27 states. Colyar’s technology aids states in complying with USDA mandates, ensures meal price consistency and is a leading company focused on nutrition software.
“In partnership with Castle Harlan, Gold Star has grown to be the premier school nutrition solutions provider. We are looking forward to our next chapter with Highview Capital and Good Source, where we will leverage our collective strength to establish a new leader in specialized foodservice distribution for the K-12, corrections and other value-focused end markets,” said Sean Leer, CEO of Gold Star.
“Gold Star has been a highly successful investment for Castle Harlan and its limited partners,” said David Pittaway, vice chairman of the firm. “In addition to its distribution growth, today it offers technology solutions for states and school districts that no other company provides.”
About Castle Harlan
Castle Harlan, founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests and the development of middle-market companies throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Its team of senior investment professionals has completed over 50 acquisitions since its inception, worth an aggregate enterprise value in excess of $11 billion. The firm traces its roots to the start of the institutionalized private equity business in the late 1960s. Castle Harlan’s current portfolio companies employ more than 12,000 people, and include Shelf Drilling, one of the largest worldwide contractors of jack-up drilling rigs for shallow water applications; Tensar Corporation, the leading global designer and manufacturer of foundation improvement technologies for the infrastructure, transportation and construction markets; Titan Production Equipment, a leader in the design, engineering and fabrication of oil and gas production equipment; and Caribbean Restaurants, the leading restaurant operator and exclusive Burger King and Firehouse Subs franchisee on the island of Puerto Rico, with more than 180 locations. Additional information about Castle Harlan is at www.castleharlan.com.