George Pine had all the evidence he needed for Bruin Capital’s latest majority stake

Finance


Catering company Proof of the Pudding has a growing list of sports clients that include major golf events such as the Presidents Cup.

T.last 30 years Before, bruin capital Founder and CEO George Pine He spent five years in Atlanta, working for the city’s Chamber of Commerce and later for a world-renowned architect. John Portman. During this time in the early 1990s, he discovered a local catering company. proof of pudding, served several iconic venues and convention centers around the city. Nearly 30 years later, Proof has quietly built a strong and growing sports business, with Pines Bruin acquiring a majority stake in the business with plans for future expansion.

“I lived in Atlanta from 1990 to 1995, and even then, Proof had an incredible reputation,” recalls Pyne. “I can’t believe we’re talking about it in 2023. In the 1990s they were one of the best players at what they did. So the opportunity to work with them now is huge for me. I am satisfied with

Proof of the Pudding may still be unknown to industry giants such as: Aramark again Sodexo, But it’s hardly a family-run business. The 44-year-old company now employs approximately 1,700 people nationwide and serves more than one million people annually. It has long operated food services for institutions such as the Atlanta Zoo and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and catered for the 1996 Olympics.

About ten years ago, the business expanded into college athletics, initially providing food service to suites and club seats at the University of Georgia. Proof of the Pudding currently has eight university customers, including the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Duke University, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State University. A ninth similar transaction is underway. The company also began managing training tables, a high-performance dining service for athletes, for Duke University, Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Hawks.

This joins Proof’s arena business, which includes Gus South Arena and Gateway Center Arena in Georgia. The company has also expanded into auto racing, providing food service to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the annual Formula 1 race Circuit of the Americas. Proof’s golf event customers include the Masters, Tour Championships, Players Championships, Presidents his Cup, and his AT&T Byron his Nelson in a Dallas suburb last weekend.

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Adam NoiseThe president of Proof of the Pudding was wondering what the next chapter of his company would look like when he was introduced to Pine by a mutual acquaintance more than three years ago. . The two hit it off, but early talks about a potential acquisition were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pyne recalled that the crisis only reaffirmed his belief in the catering business, as Proof continued to run catering services for his seven overflow hospitals.

Negotiations resumed in earnest last September and the deal was completed on May 5. Both sides declined to disclose financial details of the transaction, but Noyes’ family will have a “substantial” minority stake in the business. The catering company has grown rapidly in recent years, especially with the addition of the sports segment. The company’s revenue, which is now in the low nine figures, has grown by 800% over the past decade, with most of that growth occurring in the last five years.

“At this point in our journey, Bruin really helps us get out there and open some doors and help us on the merger and acquisition front.” Mr Noyes said. “They have a proven track record and can bring more value to existing customers. And we are very excited that we are now at a stage where we can move forward.”

Celebrity Headliners at Bruin’s First Portfolio Summit

In late March, Bruin Capital held its first portfolio summit at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, a luxury hotel north of San Diego. The investment firm brought together leaders from five of his portfolio companies: Engine Shop, Full Swing, OddsChecker, TGI Sport and Two Circles for over two days of panel discussions and networking. Conversations focused on high-profile issues such as changing media trends, the M&A landscape, sports and entertainment consumer spending, and the future of the sports economy.
These discussions include former White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, Los Angeles Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten, and San Diego Padres owner. It was opened by speakers on stage, including one Peter Seidler and CEO Eric Grumpner. Attendees included longtime sports media executive and North American Genius Sports president Steve Bornstein; UTA and Warner Music Group board members Ceci Kurtzman; CAA Chris Silverman; ESPN Insider Mike Tanenbaum and others attended.

For Pine, the deal is also a bet on the growing value of high-quality, premium experiences centered around sports and entertainment. He also sees synergies with some of Bruin’s existing portfolio companies in sports hospitality: a sports marketing firm. two circles and TGIsports. And Pine ultimately believes Proof will serve as the foundation on which Bruin can build a much more complex and holistic business.

“We think of this as a platform where today it’s hospitality, but tomorrow there could be other things and other technologies: ticketing, data, marketing and other elements,” Pine said. said. “We will also actively pursue acquisitions when such opportunities arise.”

“High-end hospitality experiences are part of sport and we work with all major leagues and federations around the world. I’m here. [Proof’s] ability,” he added. “We have the capital, we have the track record, and we think good things can happen when you combine them.”

Chris Smith writes a monthly column on financial news and trends.he Please contact crsmith@sportsbusinessjournal.com.





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