Sun Capital buys Japanese snack maker

Sun Capital’s recently established Japanese affiliate has completed its first deal with the acquisition of “Fruit Jelly” snack maker Tarami.

Japanese fruit snack maker Tarami has been acquired by Sun Capital Partners Japan, the Tokyo affiliate’s first deal since its September establishment by Florida-based private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shigeru Utsugi, managing director of Sun’s Tokyo affiliate, said Tarami “holds the leading market position in the Japanese fruit jelly cup sector”.

Established in 1988, the Japanese snack maker’s products include “Fruit Jelly” gelatin cups sold in stores under Tarami labels such as Kudamonoyasan and Dossari, as well as via private brands such as Dole.

Sun is one of many private equity firms increasing its attention on the Japanese market, traditionally considered adverse to foreign buyouts. Ripplewood, Cerberus, TPG and Bain Capital are among the firms that have already made Japanese investments, while Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made its first foray last month with the purchase of a ¥20 billion ($170 million, €124) stake in credit card company Orient.

Sun Capital Partners Japan targets Japanese companies that have leading market positions and generate ¥5 billion to ¥500 billion in sales.

Its 12-year old parent, Sun Capital, has offices in Boca Raton, Florida, Los Angeles and New York, and has affiliates in Tokyo, London and Shenzhen, China. The turnaround specialist’s most recent fund closed in April on $6 billion.