Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced today that it has partnered with management to complete the acquisition of Santa Cruz Nutritionals (“SCN”).  SCN, based in Santa Cruz, CA, is a leading manufacturer of gummy-based nutritional products and dietary supplements for consumers of all ages.  The Company has developed proprietary formulations and a unique manufacturing process that deliver active ingredients through great tasting, high quality chewable products.  SCN has established itself as a dominant player in all of its core markets and maintains longstanding relationships with many of the leading retailers and consumer product companies in the world.

SCN is the 7th investment from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, IV, L.P., a $1.1 billion private equity fund.  According to Lauren Leichtman, Co-Founder and CEO of LLCP, “We are excited to partner with Mike Westhusing and his team at Santa Cruz Nutritionals.  Under their leadership, the Company has expanded its product line, added new customers and established itself as the dominant player in a rapidly growing industry.  We believe that their superior offering and culture of innovation will lead to further expansion in the years ahead.”

Michael Westhusing, the Chief Executive Officer of Santa Cruz Nutritionals and other members of the senior management team will make a significant investment in the company.  Michael Westhusing and his senior management team will continue to lead the company and are pleased that LLCP has added SCN to its investment portfolio.  Michael Westhusing commented, “I am very excited about welcoming LLCP to the SCN family.  LLCP’s investment philosophy of supporting management teams is a perfect match for us.  We expect this partnership to lead to the continued growth of our franchise.” 

SCN was advised by Lazard Middle Market.  Senior debt financing was provided by Bank of Montreal and Madison Capital Funding, who together acted as Co-Lead Arrangers.