Nowest Mezzanine Partners Invests Alongside Highlander Partners in Evans Food Group Acquisition

August 13, 2019


Minneapolis, Minnesota – Norwest Mezzanine Partners (NMP) has invested a combination of subordinated debt and equity securities to support Highlander Partners and its newly-formed food platform Benestar Brands with the acquisition of Evans Food Group.  Evans is an 80+ year old manufacturer and the world’s leading producer of pork rinds, offering pork rind pellets and snacks, which include pork skins and cracklins.

Headquartered in Chicago, Evans is an international producer of branded, co-packed and private label pork rinds.  Evans sells primarily through the mass & grocery channel and has the #1 multi-outlet store brand for pork rinds in the US, Mac’s.  The company also sells under the Turkey Creek, Don Rudy, Cazo de Oro and Domingo’s brands.  Evans will serve as the first company in Benestar Brands, a new platform formed by Highlander Partners focused on the high-growth snack food industry.  Leading Benestar is CEO Carl Lee, Jr. who previously served as CEO of Snyder’s-Lance, the second largest salty snack maker in the United States.

Carter Balfour, NMP Partner, stated, “We’re excited to partner with Highlander in creating a salty snacks platform. Evans is well-positioned to continue to benefit from strong growth in the better-for-you, salty snacks category, and we are confident that the team Highlander has assembled has the experience and expertise to help the company continue on its growth trajectory.”

Highlander Partners’ CEO Jeff Hull commented, “This marks our fifth deal with Norwest and we are excited to be deepening our collaboration with a partner that provides flexibility, is easy to work with and takes a relationship-focused approach.”

For more information, visit the Evans website.