Uncle Charley's Sausage | Case Study

Uncle Charley's Sausage

  • Status: Exited
  • HQ Location: Northeast
  • Industry: Food & Beverage
  • Fund: Private Credit Fund I
  • Deal Team: Stephen J. Gurgovits, Jr., CPA, CFA, Sean Edmonson, and Ian Frazier
  • Investment Date: 01/27/2014

Company Background

  • Founded in 1988, Uncle Charley’s Sausage Company (“UCSC”) is a Western Pennsylvania based pork sausage producer with a strong market share in the Greater Pittsburgh Region FNBCP partnered with a local operator (Len Caric – President) and sponsor (McKnight Capital Partners) to lead the acquisition.

Investment Thesis

  • Industry: Stable demand for pork sausage through all economic cycles as it’s cheaper and a more convenient alternative to beef, turkey, and chicken.
  • Opportunity: Invest in a family-owned company with strong brands and an identified opportunity to grow through investments in sales process and new products.
  • Strategy: Develop more cohesive sales & marketing strategy and establish private label partnerships.

Results

  • The Company faced several challenges over the course of the investment period, including (i) pork price volatility; (ii) increased competition from out of market brands; (iii) consumer shift away from pork sausage consumption; and (iv) production challenges driven by staff turnover.
  • The investor group and management team have revised the go-to market strategy (private label offerings) and implemented employee incentives to drive retention and production efficiency UCSC was exited in September 2020 to an undisclosed buyer.
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