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Wind Point Partners Invests In Tropicale Foods

Wind Point invests in leading Hispanic frozen novelties company

CHICAGO, Ill., December 6, 2019-- Wind Point Partners (“Wind Point”), a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today that it has partnered with Tropicale Foods (“Tropicale” or the “Company”). Based in Ontario, California, Tropicale is a leading manufacturer of frozen novelty products under the Helados Mexico brand. The Company produces an assortment of traditional Hispanic offerings, including paletas, bolis and mangonada cups, which are sold in a variety of flavors and pack sizes. Tropicale’s products are sold nationwide at multi-outlet retailers, convenience stores and traditional grocery outlets.

Tropicale was founded in 1999. The Company’s founders began manufacturing traditional authentic paletas and selling them up and down the street out of their own ice cream push carts. Since those humble beginnings, Tropicale has grown into the leading Hispanic frozen novelty brand in the U.S. Post-transaction, the founders will remain involved in the go-forward operation as they seek to continue to grow the Helados Mexico brand in close partnership with the Wind Point team.

This transaction represents the second partnership between Wind Point and José Luis Prado, who most recently served as CEO of Evans Food Group, a manufacturer of branded and private label pork rind snacks which Wind Point sold in August 2019. José Luis is a 40-year veteran of the food industry, having spent 30 years at PepsiCo with general management responsibility in the United States and Latin America. José Luis has joined the Tropical leadership team and will serve as Board Chair.

José Luis commented, “Tropicale is a terrific business with a leading Hispanic brand. I see significant opportunity to continue building the Helados Mexico brand through great tasting new products, innovation and geographic expansion. I look forward to drawing on my experience as CEO of Evans Food Group and my 30 years in Consumer Packaged Goods to help Tropicale flourish in this next phase.” José Luis added, “Equally as important as the opportunity for growth will be a continued focus on the strong culture at Tropicale, and we look forward to the opportunities this new partnership will provide for our Company, our customers, and our hardworking and dedicated employees.”

Joe Lawler, Principal at Wind Point, added, “Tropicale represents a great fit for Wind Point. The founders have built a terrific business with great momentum and we look forward to their continued support in growing Tropicale in this next phase. We are also excited to partner with José Luis and the entire Tropicale team. We have a strong value creation plan that includes delivering on commitments to our customers, continuing to support growth and exploring avenues to enhance the Company’s portfolio of products.”

Wind Point’s partnership with Tropicale represents yet another investment for the firm with an entrepreneur or family-owned business, a focus area of Wind Point’s investment strategy for decades. Select current and prior Wind Point investments in the food industry include Stir Foods, Evans Food Group, Gehl Foods, Shearer’s Snacks and Hearthside Food Solutions.

Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to Wind Point. NPW LLP served as legal counsel to Tropicale. FocalPoint Partners, LLC provided transaction advisory services to Tropicale in connection with the transaction.

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