Three Milwaukee executives have joined with seasoned food industry leader Carl E. Lee to form a new private equity firm dedicated to investing in food startups according to Milwaukee Business News.
Arbel Growth Partners was established in February by co-founders Adam Peck, Scott Lurie, and Eric Lenzen. Lee, the former president and CEO of Snyder’s-Lance Inc. (maker of snack foods Snyder’s of Hanover, Cape Cod and Pop Secret) will serve as the CEO of the investment firm.
Peck is also founder and chief investment officer at Milwaukee investment advisory firm Riverwater Partners LLC. Scott Lurie is founder and president of restaurant and catering business operator F Street Group and lender Milwaukee Hard Money. Eric Lenzen is a mergers and acquisitions attorney at the Milwaukee office of Husch Blackwell LLP and an experienced private equity and venture investor.
The group came together after raising and investing $10 million to buy a 51 percent stake in Sky Valley Foods LLC, a Virginia organic food manufacturer with Milwaukee roots in the fall.
Arbel is currently raising its first fund, which has a range of $10 million to $50 million. According to a recent SEC filing, $1.85 million has been raised from six investors since the fund was launched Feb. 16.
The firm that has received an undisclosed investment is Glendale, California-based Alpha Foods.