Press release

SONOMA, Calif., July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonoma Creamery, LLC ("Sonoma" or the "Company") is pleased to announce a $10 million equity investment in the Company by Svoboda Capital Fund IV, L.P. ("SC"). Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1931, the Company is a Sonoma, California-based manufacturer and marketer of premium cheeses and cheese snacks. In 2014, Sonoma launched Mr. Cheese O's, the first-of-its-kind Crunchy Real Cheese™ Snack, a shelf-stable, high-protein, gluten-free, naturally lactose-free, baked cheese snack made with organic quinoa and no artificial ingredients or preservatives. In 2016, it launched Sonoma Creamery Parmesan Crisps, Cheddar Crisps and Bacon Cheddar Crisps, with real bacon and no added nitrates or nitrites.

By innovating a new category of shelf-stable, "better-for-you" snacks made of 100% real cheese and only all-natural ingredients that you can pronounce, Sonoma has expanded its product line while retaining its heritage of producing premium quality, natural cheese products. Today, the Company serves a roster of blue-chip customers including Amazon, Costco, HEB, Kroger, Safeway/Albertsons, Target and Wegmans among others.

"We are excited to have a new partner who shares our belief in making addictively healthy cheese snacks from the highest quality, simplest ingredients," said John Crean, Sonoma's President & CEO. "Teamwork is our secret weapon. We believe deeply in delivering the absolute best, most compelling, most innovative products to our consumers and retailer partners.  We are enthusiastic that the team at Svoboda share our objectives as the surest way to build long-term value for our shareholders, partners and employees."

Proceeds from the transaction will be used to support the Company's growth initiatives, including the development of new products, the hiring of key personnel and the build-out of additional production capacity. "We have been impressed with Sonoma's ability to innovate and grow in the exciting Healthy Snack category," said Jeff Piper, Managing Director at SC. "We are looking forward to collaborating with the Sonoma management team to enhance the long-term growth and success of the Company."

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About Svoboda Capital Partners LLC

Svoboda Capital Partners LLC is a Chicago-based private equity firm with over $350 million of capital under management. Founded in 1998, SC identifies, invests in and helps build excellent businesses in its targeted business niches: consumer products, value-added distribution, and business services. SC typically makes investments of $10 to $20 million per company in partnership with management teams.