Butterfly, a Los Angeles, Cal.-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, announced Jan. 9 that it has acquired Pacifico Aquaculture, a leader in sustainable ocean-raised aquaculture. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2010 and based in Baja California, Mexico, Pacifico is the world's first and only producer of ocean-raised striped bass, Butterfly said. Pacifico's striped bass is sought after by consumers and chefs for its quality, flavor and texture and is sold through distributors, food retailers and restaurants across North America.
"This is an exciting new chapter for Pacifico and we look forward to our partnership with the Butterfly team," said Omar Alfi and Daniel Farag, co-chief executive officers of Pacifico. "Butterfly understands our business well and shares our vision for the future, and we are excited to have a partner with deep industry expertise in the food sector."
"The future for sustainable ocean-raised aquaculture is extraordinarily bright, and we are excited to back the Pacifico team to help expand their reach throughout North America and around the world," said Adam Waglay, who co-founded Butterfly with Dustin Beck. "We love that Pacifico is committed to sustainable and responsible aquaculture practices and has received numerous sustainability certifications and awards, including the highest four-star designation from the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program earlier this year."
Beck added, "Pacifico's unwavering commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability has created a unique offering that is positioned extremely well for growth. We are thrilled to partner with Omar, Daniel and the rest of the team to help them grow Pacifico into a world-class aquaculture platform."
Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal adviser to Butterfly. Jones Day acted as legal adviser to Pacifico.
Butterfly Equity spans the entire food value chain from "seed to fork" via four target verticals: (1) agriculture and aquaculture, (2) food and beverage products, (3) food distribution and (4) foodservice. Butterfly aims to generate attractive investment returns through deep industry specialization, a unique approach to sourcing transactions and leveraging an operations-focused and technology-driven approach to value creation.