Houlihan Lokey Advises Thanasi Foods

Houlihan Lokey's Consumer, Food & Retail Group is pleased to announce that Thanasi Foods LLC and BIGS LLC, portfolio companies of Encore Consumer Capital LLC, have been acquired by Conagra Brands, Inc. Financial terms were undisclosed. The transaction closed on April 24, 2017.

Thanasi is a leading maker of premium meat snacks, including Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages and Duke's brisket and steak strips. Focused on crafting the highest quality smoked meat snacks available, the family-operated business refuses to take shortcuts and is committed to producing its products in small batches with real, whole ingredients; fresh, never-frozen pork and chicken; 100% grass-fed beef; and authentic hardwood smoke pairings.

BIGS produces a line of premium, USA-grown seed snacks, including jumbo, fire-roasted, in-shell sunflower seeds; sunflower seed kernels; and homestyle roasted pumpkin seeds. BIGS partners with some of America's most iconic and loved ingredient brands to bring big, bold flavors to its seeds.

Encore is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm focused on the consumer products industry. The firm has raised over $600 million in equity capital and invested in 25 companies. Encore's current and prior investments include food and beverage companies (Aidells Sausage Company, Ancient Harvest, Brownie Brittle, Ciao Bella, Full Sail Brewing Company, Isopure, Navitas Organics, PhillySwirl), personal care products companies (butter LONDON, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, LORAC Cosmetics, Tarte Cosmetics), and pet products companies (ThunderWorks, Zuke's), among others. The firm targets companies with between $10 million and $100 million in annual revenue where Encore's strong operating expertise in strategy development, brand marketing, and distribution expansion can help drive performance.

Conagra (NYSE: CAG), headquartered in Chicago, is one of North America's leading branded food companies. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, Conagra combines a rich heritage of making great food with a sharpened focus on innovation. The company's portfolio is evolving to satisfy people's changing food preferences. Conagra's iconic brands, such as Marie Callender's, Reddi-wip, Hunt's, Healthy Choice, Slim Jim, and Orville Redenbacher's, as well as its emerging brands, including Alexia Foods, Blake's All Natural Foods, and Frontera Foods, offer choices for every occasion. With an ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship, Conagra Brands has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability™ North America Index for six consecutive years.

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