A sweet innovation leads to a smooth acquisition

Brookside Foods was in the midst of a game-changing R&D project – a new process to manufacture fruit pieces from nutraceutical fruits (like pomegranate and açai) that could be coated with chocolate. The relatively small British Columbian company was competing against multinational corporations in the confectionary business like Mars, Nestle, Cadbury and Hershey. Avrio came on board to assist with Brookside’s next stage of development. Avrio helped fund the new innovation and brought on CEO Ken Shaver, from Nestle, to drive the business. Eventually, when co-owners Denis McGuire and Hugh Wiebe were ready to sell, the Avrio team brought experience and insight to the process. The sale was named Private Equity Deal of the Year in 2012.

“Even through the trying periods, Avrio is patient and consistent in their approach. In business things don’t always go to plan, but Avrio is not alarmist.”

“We were up against the big guns. Our multinational competitors had deep pockets to persuade retailers and control listings in stores. We needed a major investor to come in. The partnership with Avrio worked so well. They were instrumental in assisting with the sale of Brookside for a value that was much higher than we ever could have expected.

“Of course we appreciated that, but also the openness, and ‘free-market spirit’ with which they operate.  I was expecting financial guys to be more rigid but Avrio just wasn’t like that at all. It was one of the most refreshing experiences I’ve had working with someone from an outside company – their ethics, knowledge and ability to work with our board – this created a significant advantage to Brookside.” —Denis McGuire, Brookside co-founder

“If I was in business again, Avrio would be top of my venture capital list today.”

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