Robert Brown, Managing Director of Encore Consumer Capital, said, “Aidells is an iconic brand in the San Francisco Bay Area and we are pleased to have played a role in its rapid national expansion. CEO Bob McHenry’s passion, leadership and creativity successfully transformed the company from a craft sausage business to a leading brand respected across broad product categories and channels of distribution. Aidells will be the cornerstone of the newly formed Gourmet Foods group within Sara Lee and will undoubtedly continue to expand on its position as the leader in the premium sausage category. Our investment in Aidells delivered extraordinary returns to Encore and our investors.”

Since its original investment, Encore and the management team focused on creating a premium brand position that was driven by unique, high-quality products. In addition, Encore worked with Aidells to increase brand awareness while expanding distribution with retail partners that were consistent with the brand’s positioning.

McHenry spoke about Encore’s ability to work with entrepreneurial organizations. “Encore was a terrific partner throughout its investment and worked with me and the Aidells’ team on several areas important to our success including product and manufacturing innovation, effective marketing activities and increased sales penetration with key customers. The Encore team understands how to grow a brand while providing the strategic vision and support we needed to execute our growth strategy. When we were choosing an investor four years ago, we selected Encore because we were confident that they could deliver more than just capital. We decided to partner with Encore because we knew that they would do a fantastic job of helping us build the Aidells brand. Our relationship has been a huge success for Aidells, Encore, their investors and Aidells’ growing consumer base.”

Aidells pioneered the premium sausage category and offers a full product line of poultry-based products, such as Chicken & Apple, Cajun Style Andouille and Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese sausages. Aidells also offers a line of meatball products in flavors such as Teriyaki Pineapple and Buffalo-Style.

“Aidells’ passion for making great-tasting, natural and organic sausages has attracted a loyal consumer following and shaped a truly premium brand,” said CJ Fraleigh, chief executive officer, Sara Lee North America. “Adding Aidells’ great products and talented team of employees to our organization will expand Sara Lee’s presence in the premium meats category and help us to drive even greater innovation.”

Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor for Aidells and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel.

About Encore Consumer Capital
Encore Consumer Capital is an innovative private equity firm built specifically to help consumer products companies grow. The firm invests exclusively in leading consumer products companies to utilize its own consumer experience and the expertise of its operating partners at Encore Associates, a leading strategic advisory firm to the consumer products industry, to accelerate their growth. Encore provides a unique combination of exceptional talent, diversity of experience, and operational capabilities to build partnerships with its portfolio companies. Headquartered in San Francisco, the firm currently has $175 million of committed equity capital under management. For more information, please visit