USA – New Orleans-based private equity firm, LongueVue Capital (LVC) has ushered in food industry veteran, David Darragh, to lead the company’s food and beverage investment strategy.

LVC said that with David joining the team, the company is well positioned to further pursue investment opportunities in the food and beverage sector, including in value-added ingredient suppliers, contract manufacturers, innovative co-packing partners, and niche branded product companies.

David most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of New Orleans-based Reily Foods Company, and brings to the investment firm over three decades of experience as a senior executive.

LVC said that the company will leverage his expertise and proven track-record in accelerating the growth and profitability of branded product portfolios, contract manufacturing business lines, and private label operations.

At Reily, David grew iconic brands including Luzianne Tea and Blue Plate Mayonnaise through geographic expansion and new product development, and he completed the strategic acquisitions of New England Coffee and French Market Coffee.

Prior joining Reily, David served as President of Zatarain’s Inc., a subsidiary of McCormick & Company, growing the business from a regional player to a national brand. David also led the Hot Pockets brand of Chef America before it was sold to Nestle for US$2.6 billion in 2002.

Ray Jeandron, LVC Partner who helps lead the firm’s strategy, commented, “David has a tremendous track record of building best-in-class brands, highly efficient supply chains, and strong consumer reach across multiple geographies and product formats.

“We are excited to be pursuing opportunities with David in the vast and dynamic food and beverage sector. He is a great cultural fit here at LVC and will be a strong partner to our entrepreneurial management teams.”

Rick Rees, LVC’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner, mentioned that David has been a long-time friend of LongueVue Capital and will now become an incredible asset to the investment firm’s food and beverage strategy.

David commented, “LongueVue Capital has a unique, partnership-oriented approach to investing that resonates with entrepreneurs seeking both growth capital and thought partners to take their businesses to the next level.”

He notes that the approach is ideal for the constantly evolving food and beverage sector where consumption patterns have shifted dramatically, creating tremendous opportunities for operators in the space.

“I am very excited to be joining the LVC team and to work with our management team partners to accelerate growth and create value for their businesses,” he said.

Founded in 2001, LongueVue Capital focuses on providing skills, human and financial capital in growth-oriented companies with scalable, sustainable business models and exceptional leadership teams.

With the new move, the firm is expected to further catalyse growth in the food and beverage industry through its financial strength.

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