Gold Star Food Service, Inc.

January 2, 2008
Contact: Lauren B. Sinai

Prospect Partners And Management Recapitalize One of Nation's Top School Foodservice Distributors

Gold Star Foods is a Leading Food Provider to Public School Districts in California and Arizona

CHICAGO, ILL.—January 2, 2008: Prospect Partners, LLC and management have announced the recent formation of Gold Star Food Service, Inc. to recapitalize Gold Star Foods, Inc. of Los Angeles, Calif.

Gold Star is one of the nation's leading specialty foodservice distributors for public school districts. Since its inception in 1978, the company has carved out a unique market niche through its broad inventory and focus on child nutrition. Gold Star now reaches more than 300 public school districts serving students ages K-12 in California and Arizona.

A full-service provider for many school districts, Gold Star offers an extensive line of more than 5,000 school-related food and non-food products, including frozen foods, dry goods, USDA commodities and fresh bread as well as other essentials like custodial supplies and servingware. The company has been recognized by both the United States Department of Agriculture and the American School Food Service Association as one of the nation's outstanding foodservice distributors to school districts.

"Gold Star is a fast-growing niche leader with a superior reputation," says Erik Maurer, a Principal at Prospect Partners. "The company provides quality products and is uniquely customer-focused, offering school districts value-added management of USDA commodities."

Continues Mr. Maurer: "In addition, Gold Star's veteran management team, led by CEO George Thorsen, is highly knowledgeable about the many nuanced aspects of the school district foodservice market. We look forward to supporting management's many forward-thinking growth initiatives."

Mr. Thorsen, who has co-owned and run Gold Star since its formation, will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer. With the transaction, his co-owner, Lenny Amato, has retired but will continue to serve on the company's Board of Directors.

"Lenny and I designed and built our company specifically to address the special needs of school food programs," says Mr. Thorsen. "Prospect Partners supports our commitment to developing and providing innovative solutions for child nutrition and to expanding our reach beyond our existing customers and providing a greater number of school districts with the absolute highest possible level of service."

Going forward, Prospect Partners and Gold Star management will evaluate add-on acquisitions of other specialty foodservice distributors as part of their ongoing growth strategy.

Serving Gold Star's Board of Directors from Prospect Partners are Mr. Maurer as Chairman and Vice President Suken Shah as a Director.

Gold Star Food Service, Inc. is the 12th platform company of Prospect Partners II, L.P., Prospect Partners' $165 million private equity fund. Other platform companies in Prospect Partners II, L.P. include Codel Holding Company; Education Futures Group, LLC; ESI Lighting, Inc.; Kronos Foods, Inc.; Pipp Mobile Storage Systems Holding Company; Presidential Pools and Spas, LLC; Rental Holdings, LLC; Spirit Foodservice Products, Inc.; Summit Fire Protection Co.; Superior Tool Holding Company; and Velvac Holdings, Inc.

About Prospect Partners

Prospect Partners, LLC of Chicago, Illinois is a leading lower-middle-market private equity firm, managing $270 million in two funds. Since its inception in 1998, Prospect Partners has focused on management-led leveraged acquisitions of small niche leaders with revenues typically between $10 million and $30 million; the firm has invested in nearly 70 leading companies across a wide variety of niche consumer, commercial, specialty distribution and service markets throughout the United States.

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April 16, 2014
Prospect Partners Completes Sale of Gold Stars Foods, Inc.