California Optical is based in Hayward, CA and is the nation’s largest manufacturer and distributor of eyeglass cases and related products to the retail optical industry. Founded in 1935 as a manufacturer of leather eyeglass cases, the company has evolved to become a leading purveyor of optical accessories, including a full array of fashionable, optically correct reading glasses as well as chains, cleaning cloths, cleaning solutions and other accessories. CalOptical’s long history as an industry leader comes from affording its customers the broadest and most comprehensive collection of sewn and hard cases in the industry, in combination with an unmatched ability to service customers, both large and small, from coast to coast. CalOptical serves all classes of the retail optical trade, including nearly all of the major optical chains, OEM’s and independent optical practitioners as a one-stop source for all optical accessory needs. We acquired the original company in 1999 and have made three subsequent add-on acquisitions.
In partnership with a successful agribusiness and ingredients industry executives, we formed Healthy Food Ingredients, LLC (“HFI”) to capitalize on the significant, sustained shift in consumer behavior to consumption of food that exerts a positive influence on health and wellness and the environment, including food containing ingredients that are natural, organic, non-GMO and/or identity preserved. This demand trend, and the importance of surety of supply through a GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) supply chain, are two of the main drivers in developing the HFI platform. Importantly, consuming healthy foods and pursuing active, healthy lifestyles are passions of ours.
In October 2013, HFI recapitalized Fargo, North Dakota based SK Food International, Inc. SK Food is a premium quality ingredient solutions provider of identity preserved, non-GMO and organic grains, ancient grains, soybeans, pulses, expeller oils and flours/flakes. SK Food’s facilities in Moorhead, Minnesota are GFSI/SQF certified.
In December 2014, HFI merged SK Food with Watertown, South Dakota based Hesco-Inc./Dakota Organic Products. Hesco/Dakota Organic Products is a specialty ingredients company that provides conventional and organic wheat, durum, barley, rye, flax and ancient grains in whole and milled form. Hesco offers a variety of multi-grain, whole bakery blends, cereal, prepared food blends and pet food blends. Hesco’s facilities in Watertown, South Dakota and Hastings, Nebraska are GFSI/BRC certified.
In both of these transactions, the prior owners and their families achieved important retirement and estate diversification goals, preserved the market identities and culture of the companies they built, while giving their employees interesting, new opportunities for growth, maintained key leadership roles with HFI after closing, and are significant HFI shareholders who will benefit from the strengths and scale of the larger HFI platform.
HFI is a fast-growing, specialty ingredient company that is actively looking to add other quality companies that source, process and sell healthy ingredients to food manufacturers, foodservice operators and pet food companies.
In December 2015, Healthy Food Ingredients, LLC, the parent company of SK Food International and Hesco/Dakota Organic Products, recently acquired Suntava® Corporation of Afton, Minnesota. The Suntava team will operate as a division of Healthy Foods Ingredients, continuing to use the Suntava name.
Suntava is best known for its proprietary Suntava Purple Corn (a natural non-GMO Hybrid). Suntava Purple Corn is used as an ingredient in functional foods, beverages, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals, as well as being a natural colorant for foods and beverages. Suntava is the first U.S. company to research, grow and commercialize this naturally high-antioxidant corn.
HFI will help support Suntava's growth by providing access to broader grower network, enhanced distribution and a united commitment to industry leading supply assurance.
Most recently, in September 2016, Healthy Food Ingredients (HFI) acquired Heartland Flax, a leading manufacturer of flax and flax oil, based in Valley City, ND. Heartland Flax offers a unique micro-reduction process for flax and other grains in an allergen-free GFSI facility. It also has capabilities in ancient grain processing and retail packaging, along with climate-controlled warehouse facilities. The acquisition provides more solutions to customers who have multiple ingredient needs. For more information, please refer to our press page or go to www.HFIfamily.com.
Horizon Food Group Inc. is based in San Diego, CA and is the parent company for a number of food industry acquisitions we have completed over the years. Its operations include, among others, (i) Ne-Mo’s Bakery, a manufacturer of single serve snack cakes and related products that are sold primarily to the convenience store and food service channels, (ii) Horizon Snack Foods which manufactures and sells single serve fruit turnover pies primarily to major supermarket chains and school districts, and (iii) La Tempesta which manufactures and sells specialty cookies, biscotti and related products to food service and specialty accounts. HFG has three manufacturing plants in the Western USA and sells its products in all 50 states with the highest concentrations of customers on the east and west coasts. The company is managed by a seasoned executive team whose most senior members have 25 or more years with the company and us. We acquired the original company in this group in 1991 and have added to it significantly over the years.
Malibu Boats, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBUU) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of performance sport boats in the world and has held the #1 market share position in the United States and the world since 2010. Malibu’s boats are used for water sports, including water skiing, wakeboarding and wake surfing, as well as for general recreational boating, and the company maintains an active professional team of top water skiers, wakeboarders and wake surfers who represent its brand around the globe. Malibu sells boats under two brands, including its flagship Malibu brand which offers the latest innovations in performance, comfort and convenience and are designed for consumers who seek a premium boating experience, and its Axis brand, which was launched in 2009, and which appeals to consumers who desire a more affordable product but still demand performance, functional simplicity and the option to upgrade key features.
Since its inception in 1982, Malibu has been a consistent research and design driven innovator in the powerboat industry and has designed award winning products that appeal to an expanding range of recreational boaters and water sports enthusiasts whose passion for boating and water sports is a key aspect of their lifestyle. Malibu believes many of its innovations, such as its proprietary Rider Control and Surf Gate technologies, as well as its integrated surf platform, among many others, significantly enhance the performance of its boats and expand the market for its products by introducing consumers to new and exciting recreational activities. Malibu’s corporate headquarters and primary manufacturing facilities are in Loudon, Tennessee, and it also maintains manufacturing facilities in Merced, California and Albury, New South Wales, Australia.
We purchased a controlling interest in the company from the founder and his employee owners in 2006 with another firm and certain company employees, and we have been active as board members and advisors of the company since then. Malibu went public in February 2014 on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and we enthusiastically continue our involvement, ownership and board membership with the company as a public entity today.
Portland, Oregon based CBI was founded in 1972, is one of North America's first roasters of specialty coffees. CBI's focus has always been on the top end of the quality spectrum and it is regarded as one of the industry's premier roaster/wholesalers. During our ownership, the company successfully evolved from its historical strength in the specialty retail trade to expand its market to include the large and rapidly growing multi-unit food service market where offering high quality coffee and related beverages is an important strategic focus. http://www.coffeebeanintl.com
We were actively involved during its ownership from 1991 until 2004. In helping CBI build upon its base as an entrepreneurial company with high quality products, to one with the team and capabilities to land and support many prominent large national food services and retail chains.