e2p Announces Sale of Salm Partners

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners (“e2p”), a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on the food and consumer packaged goods industries, announced today that it has sold Salm Partners (“Salm” or the “Company”) to Johnsonville, LLC (“Johnsonville”), a family-owned and privately held manufacturer of premium sausage and other food products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, Salm is a leading manufacturer of fully cooked sausages and premium hot dogs, serving a blue-chip customer base of industry-leading brands and retailers. Salm is headquartered in Denmark, Wisconsin where it operates two production facilities. e2p invested in the business in November 2020 alongside the Salm family, who maintained a significant stake in the Company.

e2p Managing Partner CJ Fraleigh said, “It has been truly rewarding to partner with co-founder and board member Chris Salm, CEO Keith Lindsey, and the broader Salm team. Keith has been an exceptional leader in working to realize the growth potential that underpinned our investment thesis.  The broader e2p team started with a strong base of trust and knowledge: Rich Scalise, e2p Partner, has known and worked with Chris Salm for over 30 years, and Mark Burgett, e2p Managing Partner, has a longstanding relationship with Johnsonville Holdings CEO Michael Stayer-Suprick.”

Salm offers better tasting, clean-label products with extended shelf life relative to sausages produced using conventional methods because of the Company’s differentiated co-extrusion, cook-in-package technology. In 2020, e2p recognized that Salm had an advantageous position in the market because of its unique technology and scarce capacity. During e2p’s ownership, Salm nearly doubled its manufacturing capacity, enhanced its technological advantage, and further developed its already strong management team.

Chris Salm commented, “Three years ago, I selected e2p as an investment partner for their industry expertise and reputation for partnering with entrepreneurs and family businesses, and e2p has exceeded my expectations since then. They leveraged their access to capital, deep industry knowledge, and creative problem-solving to help advance the vision we have had for Salm Partners since its founding. Since 2004, creating an environment where our partners can grow and develop within the organization has been a key priority and differentiator, and we believe Johnsonville has a compatible vision for the future of the business. We are grateful to all our partners and look forward to seeing Salm expand its great tradition of manufacturing great-tasting, high-quality food products.

Keith Lindsey added, “I would like to thank Chris Salm, e2p, and all our partners for their support in growing Salm Partners into what it is today. I joined the business in 2011, and it has been exciting to participate in Salm’s evolution into the preeminent manufacturer of co-extruded, cook-in-package sausage and hot dogs. The whole Salm team is excited to join Johnsonville, which we view as a world-class manufacturing and marketing organization. Above all, we look forward to continuing to deliver high-quality innovation, food safety, and service to our customers.”

William Blair represented Salm Partners as its exclusive financial advisor, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP acted as legal counsel to the Company in the transaction.