Palladium Equity Partners Announces Sale of Castro Cheese to Dairy Farmers of America

NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm based in New York (together with its affiliates, "Palladium"), announced today that it has completed the sale of Castro Cheese Company, Inc. ("Castro Cheese" or the "Company") to Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. ("DFA").  Terms were not disclosed.    

Castro Cheese is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of queso fresco and other varieties of Hispanic cheeses and creams. The Company's products are marketed under the brand "La Vaquita" in Texas and other southwestern states.  

"We are thrilled with the successful outcome of the Castro Cheese transaction," said Luis Zaldivar, Managing Director of Palladium. "Since the acquisition in August 2007, Castro Cheese has successfully targeted major retailers such as H.E.B., Wal-Mart, Fiesta Mart, Kroger and Costco, where they have launched several new Hispanic cheese products under the brand 'La Vaquita' and pursued geographic expansion beyond Texas. We are proud to have partnered with management on what has been an outstanding investment, and we are confident that DFA is well positioned to support the Company's continued growth."  

"Palladium's distinctive focus on companies that serve the Hispanic market and strong track record in investing in food businesses made them an extremely valuable partner for us," said Alberto Bandera, Operating Executive of Castro Cheese. "Palladium has helped us grow and develop our family business into a professionally-managed enterprise, while preserving the spirit, heritage and focus on high quality products that make us successful."

"This transaction is a validation of our investment strategy and a hallmark of our leadership position in the U.S. Hispanic market. We will continue to pursue promising opportunities to invest in this rapidly growing market," concluded Alex Ventosa, Managing Director of Palladium.    

Lincoln International acted as financial advisor to Palladium and Castro Cheese in connection with the sale.

About Palladium Equity Partners (www.palladiumequity.com)

Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, along with its affiliates ("Palladium") targets investments in companies across a broad range of industries, including business/financial services, consumer/retail, food/restaurants, healthcare, manufacturing and media businesses. Palladium has a focus on companies that are well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market. The principals of Palladium have directed investments of over $2.5 billion of equity in more than 65 portfolio companies over the last two decades.

About Castro Cheese Company, Inc. (www.castrocheese.com)

Castro Cheese, headquartered in Houston, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of premium, authentic Hispanic cheeses and other dairy products that target the rapidly growing Hispanic demographic in the United States. Sold under the brand "La Vaquita," the Company's product line includes Queso Fresco, Panela, Queso Quesadilla and other artisanal cheeses that are a staple of Hispanic cuisine.

Contacts:

Jeff Taufield / Lyndsey Estin

Kekst and Company

(212) 521-4800



SOURCE Palladium Equity Partners, LLC



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