Livingstone’s Consumer team is pleased to announce a successful growth equity raise for the Ciao Bella Gelato Company. Founded in 1983 in New York City, Ciao Bella is a manufacturer, retailer, and marketer of ultra-premium gelato, sorbet, and other frozen desserts. The company is the only U.S.-based gelato manufacturer with a national presence. Oprah Winfrey named Ciao Bella as one of her “favorite things” in 2007.
Livingstone negotiated the equity injection from Encore Consumer Capital and Sherbrooke Capital Partners, having introduced the management team to a number of alternative funders. The transaction will provide the company with the capital and value-added expertise needed to affect its rapid expansion into the specialty and mainstream grocery channels.
F.W. Pearce, Ciao Bella’s Chief Strategy Officer, said “This is an exciting transaction for us at a critical point in our company’s history. We will continue to focus on making the very best product possible, and are pleased that even more consumers will now be able to find Ciao Bella gelato and sorbet in their local stores.”
Steve Miles, Partner at Livingstone Chicago commented: “We are proud to have worked with management of a true New York institution and such a high-quality branded consumer product. We believe that Encore and Sherbrooke represent ideal partners to assist the company in growing and building the Ciao Bella® brand.”
Encore Consumer Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on the food and consumer products industries. The firm has also invested in brands such as Aidells gourmet sausage and meatballs company and PhillySwirl, a niche manufacturer and marketer of kid-oriented frozen novelty products sold through club stores and retail grocery stores. Sherbrooke Capital Partners is a Massachusetts-based fund focused exclusively on providing growth and expansion capital to emerging companies in the Health and Wellness industry.
Ciao Bella represents the 16th transaction closed by Livingstone in 2008, underscoring the firm’s ability to deliver results for its client companies in challenging market environments.