New platform will invest in and foster growth for innovative consumer brands that customers will love
CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) and Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm that focuses on partnering with families, founders and management teams seeking to actively build their businesses, today announced the formation of PearlRock Partners, a new platform that will identify, invest in and help grow the next generation of leading consumer product brands. PearlRock Partners will be one of the largest data-driven investment vehicles focused on consumer brands. The platform will be a part of Kroger’s alternative profit streams portfolio.
To help emerging consumer brands reach new customers and grow their business, the new platform will leverage Kroger’s merchandising capabilities and predictive analytics along with Lindsay Goldberg’s deep consumer expertise and nearly 20-year track record of investing in and supporting family-owned and founder-led companies.
“We are excited to add PearlRock Partners to our portfolio of high-growth alternative profit businesses that generate additional value from our core grocery business. We are confident this partnership with Lindsay Goldberg will help discover and cultivate new brands that Kroger customers will love,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s senior vice president of alternative business and CEO of 84.51°. “We are transforming from grocer to growth company by deploying our assets to serve even more customers and create margin-rich alternative profit streams.”
Brian Kelley, a Partner at Lindsay Goldberg who previously served as CEO of Keurig Green Mountain and President of Coca-Cola’s North American operations, added: “We are thrilled to partner with Kroger to help grow tomorrow’s most successful consumer brands alongside the entrepreneurs who built them. Backed by a state-of-the-art predictive data platform, real-world consumer product expertise and unparalleled merchandising resources, these next-gen brands will be poised for growth and offer Kroger’s broad customer base greater choice, convenience and innovation.”
Chris Laitala, a Partner at Lindsay Goldberg, stated: “Our partnership with Kroger creates an opportunity to invest in the consumer products industry with unique insights and a competitive edge. Consistent with our track record of making transformative investments with exceptional industry partners, this strategic relationship with Kroger will provide differentiated sourcing and visibility into evolving consumer preferences and brand performance.”
“We are excited about building a long-term partnership with Kroger,” said Eric Fry, a Partner at Lindsay Goldberg.
PearlRock Partners ladders to Restock Kroger, Kroger’s transformational plan to redefine the food and grocery customer experience in America. Through Restock Kroger, the company is leveraging its stores, logistics and data assets to create incremental new profit streams, which, in turn, drive investments to further redefine the customer experience. In this way, Kroger’s new growth model will be a virtuous cycle. The new platform will not only drive new alternate profit streams for Kroger, but will also contribute to the small brand ecosystem, helping emerging brands grow and thrive in Kroger’s stores.
For brands and other parties interested in learning more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are nearly half a million associates who serve nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
About Lindsay Goldberg
Lindsay Goldberg is a private investment firm that focuses on partnering with families, founders and management teams seeking to actively build their businesses. Founded in 2001, Lindsay Goldberg’s relationship-driven approach is centered upon a collaborative investment model and supported by its global network of affiliate partners. For more information about Lindsay Goldberg, please visit www.lindsaygoldbergllc.com.
84.51°, a Kroger company, knows customers, and we know how to connect you. Using a sophisticated, proprietary suite of tools and technology, we turn customer data into actionable knowledge. With unique customer data and predictive analytics capabilities, we deliver personalized marketing strategies and ensure the best experience for customers of Kroger and more than 300 consumer-packaged-goods companies. We put the customer at the center of everything we do, resulting in a more dynamic, informed and personal approach to driving customer loyalty.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, about the future performance of Kroger. These statements are indicated by words such as “create,” “confident,” “excited,” “will” and similar words. Various uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include the specific risk factors identified in “Risk Factors” and “Outlook” in Kroger’s annual report on Form 10-K for our last fiscal year and any subsequent filings, as well as the following: Our ability to achieve sales, earnings, incremental FIFO operating profit, and free cash flow goals may be affected by the ability to execute on Restock Kroger and the success of new partnerships. Our ability to use free cash flow to drive growth while also maintaining our current investment grade debt rating and returning capital to shareholders could be affected by unanticipated increases in net total debt, our ability to generate free cash flow at the levels anticipated, and our failure to generate expected earnings.