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Swander Pace Capital Acquires Passport Food Group

Ontario, CA (April 6, 2017) - Swander Pace Capital, a leading private equity firm specializing in consumer products companies, acquired Passport Food Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of internationally-flavored foods to foodservice and retail channels in North America.

Passport Food Group (Passport), was previously owned by Wedbush Capital Partners. Passport offers more than 125 authentic, boldly flavored SKUs to national restaurants and retailer chains around the country. Passport’s customers include Applebee’s, P.F. Chang’s, Panda Express, Cheesecake Factory, and Houlihan’s. Foodservice products are sold under the Wing Hing and House of Bee brands.

 

About Swander Pace Capital
Swander Pace Capital (SPC) is a private equity firm that invests in companies that are integral to consumers’ lives. SPC’s consumer industry expertise informs the firm’s strategic approach and adds value through access to its proven SPC Playbook, senior team, and extensive network. The firm partners with management teams to help build companies to their full potential. SPC invests in businesses across three domains of consumer lifestyles: Food + Beverage, Body + Wellness, and Home + Family. With offices in San Francisco, New Jersey, and Toronto, SPC has invested in more than 45 companies and raised cumulative equity commitments of approximately $1.8 billion since 1996. For more information, visit www.spcap.com.

 

Passport Food Group Announces Sales Team Addition

Ontario, CA (December 16, 2013) – Passport Food Group, LLC announced today the addition of Rich Frankey as Central Region Sales Manager, based in Houston, Texas. Rich comes to Passport Food Group with over 20 years of foodservice sales experience.

According to Patrick McBride, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “Passport Food Group is investing in dedicated sales professionals like Rich who can take care of our growing customer base around the U.S.   Rich will be responsible for growing and guiding our broker and sales network in the central region in support of our distribution partners and restaurant operators. “

 

About Passport Food Group
Passport Food Group, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com) and Golden Pheasant Foods (www.goldenpheasantfoods.com), has been manufacturing and supplying Southeast Asian noodles, wraps, fortune cookies and crispy products for more than 70 years to the global foodservice industry, including restaurants, hospitality, education and healthcare end markets.   For  more information , please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-203-7803.

 

Contact:
Dave Abrams
(909) 203-7803
dba@passportfood.com

 

Passport Food Group Announces Opening of New Manufacturing Facility
Capacity more than doubles to over 100,000 Square feet

Ontario, CA (May 6, 2013) – Passport Food Group, LLC, holding company for Southeast Asian food manufacturers, Wing Hing Foods and Golden Pheasant Foods, today announced it has officially opened its new 106,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Ontario, California.  This facility will also serve as its new corporate headquarters.  

The state-of-the-art facility was designed to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, including certified Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) programs.  Management expects the facility will be certified to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard under SQF Level II before the end of 2013. 

“It was our goal with this new facility to set a much higher standard of food safety and automation, as well as significantly increase our capacity, so we can continue to serve and grow with our national and international customer base ” said Dave Abrams, CEO of Passport Food Group.  “I can confidently say we achieved our goal.  This new facility allows us to expand into new products desired by our customers, and is the next step towards our goal of becoming the leading supplier of Southeast Asian foods to the global foodservice industry, including restaurants, hospitality, education and healthcare end markets.”

About Passport Food Group
Passport Food Group, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com) and Golden Pheasant Foods (www.goldenpheasantfoods.com), has been manufacturing and supplying Southeast Asian noodles, wraps, fortune cookies and crispy products for more than 70 years to the global foodservice industry, including restaurants, hospitality, education and healthcare end markets.   For  more information , please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-203-7803.

 

Contact:
Dave Abrams
(909) 203-7803
dba@passportfood.com

 

Passport Food Group Announces Sales Team Additions

Ontario, CA (May 6, 2013) – Passport Food Group, LLC today announced the hiring of sales executive Jeffrey Tavares.

Jeffrey Tavares joined Passport Food Group as the Asian Market Account Manager, and will be responsible for supporting the Asian foodservice and retail customers in California, Arizona and Nevada. He was most recently with the Asian sauce and ingredients company Lee Kum Kee.

According to Patrick McBride, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Passport Food Group, “Adding Jeffrey to our team is part of a larger strategy to connect more closely with our customers in all market segments, and reinforce our position as a leading supplier of Southeast Asian foods to the foodservice industry”.

About Passport Food Group

Passport Food Group, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com) and Golden Pheasant Foods (www.goldenpheasantfoods.com), has been manufacturing and supplying Southeast Asian noodles, wraps, fortune cookies and crispy products for more than 70 years to the global foodservice industry, including restaurants, hospitality, education and healthcare end markets. For more information, please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-203-7803.

Wing Hing Foods Launches New Website

Ontario, CA (March 4, 2012) – Wing Hing Foods, LLC today announced that it has launched its new web site at www.winghing.com.  The new site includes detailed information on the company and its products, including product specifications and recipes.  A new feature of this site is a link to a blog created by Corporate Chef Peter Petro, with culinary tips on using Wing Hing’s products and interesting ideas for Asian/fusion cuisine.  

Contact:
Patrick Mcbride
(909) 203-7812
pmcbride@passportfood.com

About Wing Hing Foods
Wing Hing Foods is the leading manufacturer of Asian noodles, wraps and salad toppers to the U.S. food service market.  The company’s products are sold through foodservice distributors throughout the U.S., and are carried by DOT Foods.   Wing Hing Foods was founded in 1978, and currently has operations in Los Angeles and Ontario, California. 

About Passport Food Group
Passport Food Group is the holding company of Asian food manufacturers Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com) and Golden Pheasant Foods (www.goldenpheasantfoods.com)  For more information about Passport, please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Patrick McBride at (909) 203-7812 or pmcbride@passportfood.com.

 

Passport Food Group Announces Acquisition of Golden Pheasant Foods

LOS ANGELES (December 7, 2012) - Passport Food Group, LLC today announced the acquisition of Kent, Washington based Golden Pheasant Foods, LLC ("GPF"). With the acquisition, Passport becomes one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of Asian food products serving the foodservice and food manufacturing industries on the West coast.

Founded in the 1940s, Golden Pheasant Foods is a leading manufacturer and distributor of various authentic Asian noodles, wrap products and other goods, primarily serving the foodservice industries in the Pacific Northwest region. In addition to a broad range of products it imports and distributes through its House of Bee brand, Golden Pheasant specializes in the manufacturing of pre-cooked noodles and fortune cookies. "Golden Pheasant and its team are a wonderful addition to Passport Food Group," said Dave Abrams, Chief Executive Officer of Passport. "Their product suite and strong position in the Pacific Northwest complement Passport Food Group's market segment and will benefit from our nationwide distribution network. Together with our Wing Hing product line, this acquisition brings us one step closer to being able to provide our customers with 'one stop shopping' for all of their Southeast Asian ingredient needs."

Camillo Cheng, President and owner of Golden Pheasant Foods, added, "Dave and his team share our passion for providing the highest quality products combined with great service. Passport's distribution network will allow us to expand nationwide, bringing value to current and future customers."

About Passport Food Group

Passport Food Group is the holding company of Asian food manufacturers Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com) and Golden Pheasant Foods (www.goldenpheasantfoods.com). Passport recently sold its Italian pasta company (Royal Pasta) to focus on the Asian food business. For more information about Passport, please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-203-7803.

Passport Food Group Announces Sale of Pasta Manufacturing Facility

LOS ANGELES (November 16, 2012) - Passport Food Group, LLC today announced that it has closed a transaction to sell it's Chino, California based dry Italian pasta manufacturing operation to Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods, based in Fontana, California. The facility was used to produce dry pasta for Royal Angelus Macaroni Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Passport Food Group.

The sale was part of Passport's strategic decision to focus exclusively on the Asian food market, where it has a strong presence with the company's Wing Hing Foods subsidiary. According to Dave Abrams, CEO of Passport Food Group, "We believe we have an opportunity to become the leader in Southeast Asian foods for the foodservice marketplace, but to capture that opportunity is going to require a laser beam focus on the goal. We are very grateful to the customers and suppliers who supported our efforts in the Italian pasta business, and we are pleased that Maplegrove will continue to build on those efforts in the Chino facility"

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Passport Food Group

Passport Food Group is the holding company of Asian food manufacturer Wing Hing Foods (www.winghing.com). For more information about Passport, please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-203-7803.

Dot Foods Now Offers Wing Hing® and Royal Pasta™ Products

MT. STERLING, Ill. - Dot Foods, the nation's largest food redistributor, is proud to announce a partnership with Passport Food Group for the distribution of its Wing Hing® and Royal PastaTM product lines. Dot will be handling the majority of all Passport Food Group's distribution. The first ship date of Passport Food Group products through Dot Foods is April 2, 2012.

Wing Hing Foods is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of authentic Asian ingredients in the country. Wing Hing products include fresh noodles, wraps (wonton, dumpling, potsticker, spring roll and egg roll wraps), crispy salad toppers (wonton strips, chow mein noodles, crispy noodles), as well as a variety of Tofu and rice products. Royal Pasta is the second oldest dry pasta manufacturer in the United States and currently manufactures a variety of dry Italian pasta products. Royal Pasta produces full lines of classic style, artisan (bronze die) and organic dry pastas.

"Passport Foods has built a solid reputation with many large chain restaurants across the United States and we're pleased to begin a partnership with Dot Foods to address the needs of smaller restaurants too," said Dave Abrams, CEO, Passport Food Group. "Dot is a significant part of our distribution strategy and the growth engine we are looking for in national distribution. Dot has the reach that we simply could not get anywhere else."

"We're excited about our new partnership with Passport Foods. Wing Hing offers a new line of Asian Ingredients, like fresh won ton wraps, which are not currently offered through Dot," said Stephanie Weiler, senior business development manager, Dot Foods. "Asian cuisine is the second fastest growing category in the food service sector, and Wing Hing will allow us to serve that growing demographic. Royal Pasta's organic and bronze die pastas are a great addition to our existing pasta offering".

About Dot Foods Inc.

Dot Foods Inc. carries 100,000 products from 700 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending food products to distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates eight distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla. For information, visit www.dotfoods.com.

About Passport Food Group

Passport Food Group is the holding company of international food manufacturers Wing Hing Foods and Royal Pasta. Wing Hing Foods manufactures and distributes authentic Asian noodle and wrap products, and Royal Pasta manufactures a variety of dry Italian pasta products including organic, artisan bronze die and whole-grain. For more information about Passport, please visit www.passportfood.com.


Wedbush Capital Partners Announces Acquisition of
Passport Food Group
Management Buyout Completed in Partnership with CEO Dave Abrams

LOS ANGELES (March 1, 2012) - Wedbush Capital Partners is pleased to announce the platform acquisition of Passport Food Group ("Passport"), the holding company of Wing Hing Foods and Royal Pasta, two specialty ethnic food manufacturers for the foodservice and foodmanufacturing industries. This acquisition is the seventh platform acquisition by Wedbush Capital Partners II, which specializes in acquiring growth-ready, lower middle-market companies.

Founded in 1978 by the Yee family, Wing Hing Foods is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of authentic Asian noodle and wrap products in the country, primarily serving the foodservice and food manufacturing industries nationwide. Founded in 1887, Royal Pasta is the 2nd oldest dry pasta manufacturer in the United States and currently, manufactures a variety of dry Italian pasta products including organic, artisan bronze die and whole-grain for the foodservice industry. Both companies are located in Southern California. "Joining forces with Wedbush Capital will enhance our team's ability to build a leading specialty ethnic foods manufacturer to foodservice and food manufacturing customers in North America," said Dave Abrams, Chief Executive Officer of Passport. "We are excited about our partnership with Dave Abrams, a leader we have known and admired for years," said Geoff Bland, Managing Director of Wedbush Capital Partners. "It is this partnership that resulted in this uniquely sourced, attractively positioned company for our fund."

"We look forward to supporting the Passport management team on their various growth initiatives," added Kevin Tom, a Vice President at Wedbush Capital "The historical and expected future growth rates for both specialty categories of food products are compelling, and we expect to add growth through acquisitions as well."

K&L Gates served as counsel to Wedbush Capital Partners, and California United Bank provided the debt financing.

About Passport Food Group

Passport Food Group is the holding company of international food manufacturers Wing Hing Foods and Royal Pasta. Wing Hing Foods manufactures and distributes authentic Asian noodle and wrap products, and Royal Pasta manufactures a variety of dry Italian pasta products including organic, artisan bronze die and whole-grain. For more information about Passport, please visit www.passportfood.com or contact Dave Abrams at 909-287-7111.

About Wedbush Capital Partners

Wedbush Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on recapitalizations, growth investments, and management-led buyouts of lower middle-market companies. Wedbush Capital acquires and builds growing companies headquartered in the Western U.S. with revenues ranging from $10 to $50 million and operating cash flow of $1 to $5 million at the time of the investment. The firm's preferred initial investment is $5 to $10 million of equity. Since 1980, Wedbush Capital and its professionals have invested in more than 85 companies in industries including consumer products and services, business and financial services and niche manufacturing. Wedbush Capital is an affiliate of Wedbush Securities, founded in 1955 and one of the largest investment banks and brokerage firms in the Western United States. For more information, please visit www.wedbushcapital.com or contact Geoff Bland at 213-688-8012.

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