Spicing It Up!
Invested Banker to the Consumer Industry
TARGET: Olde Thompson, LLC
OWNER/PARENT: Shumway Family
COUNTERPARTY: Kainos Capital
SEGMENT: Food & Beverage
CLOSING DATE: May 14, 2018
ROLE: Exclusive Financial Advisor

Olde Thompson, LLC (“Olde Thompson” or the “Company”) is a leading provider of spices and spice-related products. Founded in 1944, the Company has been owned and operated by the Shumway family since the mid-1960’s. Principally under the leadership of CEO Jeff Shumway, the Company became the largest, privately‐held supplier of private label spices for retail markets in North America, with an extended track record of consistent growth. Growth was driven by success across key customers, which accounted for a significant portion of sales and included major retailers in the Grocery, Mass and Club channels.

“Sawaya Partners has been a loyal partner and trusted advisor to Olde Thompson and my family for more than a decade. Throughout our relationship, while I have explored multiple paths to enhance value for our business, Sawaya has been at my side, never wavering from acting in our best interest. Their insight into the food industry, strategic thinking, extensive network, and M&A expertise have been a priceless asset. Without question, Sawaya is the definition of what a long-term advisor should be.”


Sawaya Partners, which had developed a trusted relationship with Olde Thompson dating back to the late 2000’s, was retained in early 2018 as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor to explore a potential recapitalization with a private equity firm. As part of the transaction, Jeff Shumway sought to partner with a value-added, food-focused sponsor to support the next phase of the company’s growth and provide a liquidity event for his family.

Olde Thompson Values

Sawaya Partners designed a process with an efficient timeline that sought to achieve Jeff Shumway’s core objectives. Selective outreach was made to private equity firms with strong experience in food & beverage. Throughout this phase, Sawaya Partners worked with Management to clearly articulate, and analytically support the stability and durability of the existing business as well as opportunities for continued growth and diversification.

“As a family-owned company embarking on a private equity recapitalization, we could not have asked for a better partner than Sawaya Partners to advise us through the process. They collaborated from beginning to end with thorough preparation and well-crafted descriptive materials that brought to life our unique growth story and strategy. They had an intimate understanding of our business & financials and provided anticipatory diligence and process support across all functional disciplines. This was an important milestone for our Company and the successful completion speaks volumes to the talents of the Sawaya Partners team, from top to bottom.”


Kainos Capital established itself as the preferred partner for Olde Thompson due to a strong cultural fit and alignment with Management’s stated objectives, significant relationships and experience in food, and dedicated resources which could be applied to improve operations and accelerate growth. Kainos also distinguished itself in its ability to complete a transaction in a time-efficient manner. For Sawaya Partners, the transaction with Kainos reflected a deep understanding of the best potential private equity partners for the Company and represented the culmination of a committed, decade-long relationship with Jeff Shumway.