Food sector-focused equity firm Butterfly acquires striped bass producer Pacifico Aquaculture

Published on
January 9, 2018

Butterfly Equity, a Los Angeles, California-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, announced on Tuesday, 9 January it acquired Pacifico Aquaculture for an undisclosed sum.

Pacifico produces farm-raised striped bass near Todos Santos Island, about eight miles off the coast of Baja in Ensenada, Mexico. The farm, which was certified with a four-star Best Aquaculture Practices rating from the Global Aquaculture Alliance in 2017, produces between 1,000 to 2,000 tons of fish annually, and counts Whole Foods and LoveTheWild as buyers.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Pacifico and we look forward to our partnership with the Butterfly team,” Pacifico co-CEOs Omar Alfi and Daniel Farag said in a press release. “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.”

Butterfly, founded in 2016 by Adam Waglay and Dustin Beck, is an equity fund that targets “seed to fork” investments in agriculture, aquaculture, food and beverage, food distribution, and foodservice. 

“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,” Waglay said. “We love that Pacifico is committed to sustainable and responsible aquaculture practices and has received numerous sustainability certifications and awards.”

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, according to the firm.

“Pacifico’s unwavering commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability has created a unique offering that is positioned extremely well for growth,” Beck said. “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 and Ellis acted as legal advisor to Butterfly in the transaction, while Jones Day acted as legal advisor to Pacifico.

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