Flagship Foods secures key investment

NEW YORK — BlackRock’s Secondaries and Liquidity Solutions group has made a “significant investment” through Denver-based CREO Capital Partners (CREO) in support of Flagship Food Group as it grows and accelerates its acquisition strategy. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

“In making investments, we look for companies that have a passion for what they do,” said Veena Isaac, managing director of BlackRock’s Secondaries and Liquidity Solutions team. “Flagship has a very clear passion to bring high-quality, premium food products to consumers around the world, and we are excited about supporting their mission as they grow.”

Majority owned by CREO Capital Partners, Flagship is a diversified food company that sells a wide range of food products and services under the 505 Southwestern, La Tortilla Factory, Lilly B’s, Hatch Kitchen, TJ Farms and other brands. Flagship acquired La Tortilla Factory in January and in August reached an agreement to invest in Moundridge, Kan.-based Tortilla King, Inc., one of the largest Midwestern tortilla producers.

“Over many years our team at Flagship has worked to build one of the leading privately held, diversified food companies in the country, and to now be in a place where a global investor like BlackRock recognizes the momentum of our business and the potential opportunities that lie ahead is very exciting,” said Rob Holland, founding partner of CREO and the company’s executive chairman. “We are honored to welcome BlackRock and a number of other investment firms into our family as we continue to grow our platform.”

According to CREO, the investment by BlackRock and other investors will help strengthen Flagship’s ability to source and fund acquisitions, expand the company’s facilities, and invest in marketing and innovation initiatives.

In conjunction with the new partnership, Flagship also announced Flagship50, a program designed to enhance Flagship’s commitment to giving back to its communities and to expand its educational scholarship programs. Flagship’s 505 Southwestern-New Mexico True Scholars program, launched in 2017, helps to support higher educational opportunities for students interested in agriculture; this and similar programs are expected to expand in conjunction with the new partnership.

“We share the BlackRock team’s commitment to seeking to build great businesses and positioning them for potential success over the long term,” Mr. Holland said. “Our company and our management teams will operate just as they always have, but now with more resources to deliver for our customers and partners.”

BlackRock led the transaction. Capital Dynamics, among other existing investors in CREO, including Committed Advisors, PineBridge Investments, and Kline Hill Partners, extended their investment in Flagship.

BlackRock manages $283 billion in alternative investments and commitments on behalf of clients worldwide as of June 30.