Just in time for Passover, Manischewitz, the nation's largest manufacturer of premium kosher foods, on April 8 announced it had secured "a strategic investment" from Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a number of news media were reporting it as a complete acquisition of Manischewitz, headquartered in Newark, N.J.
The new apparent owner noted the potential of kosher foods for more than Jewish or kosher consumers. And the financial media noted that Manischewitz already was owned by investment firms, not the founding Jewish family. In 1990, the company reportedly was sold to Kohlberg & Co., and more recently to Harbinger Capital Partners, although company statements did not explain current ownership.
"This transaction will allow Manischewitz to continue its storied tradition of producing the highest quality kosher products, which have delighted consumers the world over for more than 125 years," said Yaakov Horowitz of the Orthodox Union and head rabbi at Manischewitz. "It will also enable the company to maintain its position as the world's most iconic purveyor of kosher food. The Manischewitz group of brands are a large part of the social fabric of the global Jewish and kosher community, and they continue to represent the innovation and spirit of the company's founder Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz."
"This investment reflects our confidence in the Manischewitz brands and team," said Sankaty Advisors in a statement. "Manischewitz has earned a position as one of the most highly recognized brands in the world, and it has distinguished itself through a passionate commitment to producing the highest quality kosher products possible. We believe Manischewitz is well positioned to grow due to rising mainstream interest in kosher foods." Mark Weinsten will lead the company as CEO.
Company brands include Manischewitz, Rokeach, Mishpacha, Season, Guiltless Gourmet and others. All Manischewitz products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union.