H.I.G. Capital News

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H.I.G. Capital Portfolio Company Creme Mel Acquires Zeca’s Sorvetes to Form the Largest Independent Ice Cream Company in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO – June 1, 2015 – H.I.G. Capital ("H.I.G."), a leading global private equity investment firm with more than $17 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Creme Mel Sorvetes ("Creme Mel"), the largest ice cream company in the Midwest, has acquired Zeca’s Sorvetes ("Zeca’s"), the largest Brazilian ice cream company in the Northeast.

This transaction further solidifies Creme Mel’s position as the largest independent Brazilian ice cream company with a presence in 17 states and more than R$300 million in sales. Operating in 8 Northeastern states, Zeca’s footprint is highly complementary to Creme Mel’s presence in the Midwest, North and Southeast regions. The acquisition will allow both companies to benefit from operational, logistical and administrative synergies.

The founder and CEO of Creme Mel, Antonio Benedito dos Santos believes the acquisition of Zeca’s will accelerate the development and strengthen the brands of both companies. “Creme Mel and Zeca’s share a very similar history and passion in producing the best ice cream. The two businesses complement one another in many respects, and the combination will further add to our national leadership position in this attractive and growing market”. He added: “The institutional support of H.I.G. Capital was key to make this transaction happen. We are thankful for the closing of this new union”.

Fernando Marques Oliveira, Head of H.I.G. Brazil and H.I.G. Latin America, commented, “We are very pleased with the opportunity of investing in such a recognized brand as Zeca’s. This transaction will consolidate Creme Mel’s presence in the Northeastern states and will perpetuate the strong growth of recent years. With such an experienced and highly skilled team, we will work together to continue expanding our products’ presence throughout the entire country”.

About Creme Mel
Founded in 1987 by Antônio Benedito dos Santos, Creme Mel is the largest ice cream company in the midwest of Brazil. It currently counts with more than 1.000 employees and sells its products in the states of Goiás, Tocantins, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Maranhão and Distrito Federal, offering high quality products and a wide range of flavors to its consumers. For more information, visit www.crememel.com.br.

About Zeca’s Sorvetes
Headquartered in Recife, Zeca’s Sorvetes is the largest Brazilian ice cream company in the Northeast. With more than 600 employees, the company sells its products in the states of Pernambuco, Bahia, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará. For more information, visit www.zecassorvetes.com.br.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with more than $17 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. Other H.I.G. funds invest in various real assets, including real estate and shipping.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm's current portfolio includes more than 80 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

* Based on total capital commitments to funds managed by H.I.G. Capital and its affiliates.