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St. Petersburg food service firm gets private equity investment

Margie Manning

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GA Foods at 12200 32nd Ct. N. in St. Petersburg

GA Foods, a St. Petersburg company that provides nutritional meals, is getting financial backing from one of the largest private equity firms in the world.

Warburg Pincus agreed to make a strategic investment in GA Foods, a news release said. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

GA Foods was founded in 1973 and is headquartered at 12200 32nd Ct. N., not far from Carillon office park. The company makes meals serving the unique nutritional needs of healthcare patients, seniors, children, the military, and emergency responders to disasters. Services include meal design, food preparation  and packaging, distribution, and integration with insurance payers and healthcare provider systems. GA Foods’ products are marketed under the SunMeadow brand name and are available nationally. 

“At GA Foods, we are focused on two things: nourishing those in need and delivering assistance where and when it is needed. We are proud of what we have accomplished over the past four decades and we remain committed to providing nutritional meal solutions,” said Ken LoBianco, co-founder and CEO.

GA Foods was one of several local firms that received funding under the Paycheck Protection Program earlier this year. The PPP loan helped maintain and grow staff to work on several projects, including a USDA farmers to families box program for people who were facing food insecurity with the Covid-19 virus.

The investment by Warburg Pincus will provide an opportunity to strengthen and grow GA Foods’ product offerings, capabilities and network, said president Glenn Davenport. He said that would allow the company to deliver more meals to more people in need.

Warburg Pincus said its investment in GA Foods would support future strategic initiatives, including continued investments in the healthcare sector and scaling the company’s manufacturing and logistics footprint. A request for additional details was pending return.

Warburg Pincus, with more than $53 billion in private equity assets under management, has a diversified portfolio of more than 185 companies. In 2016, the private equity firm invested $255 million in BlueGrace Logistics, a third-party logistics company in Tampa.

For the GA Foods deal, JMP Securities was financial advisor and Burns & Levinson was legal advisor for GA Foods. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP served as legal advisor for Warburg Pincus.

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