December 10, 2018

Tilia Partners With Universal Pure, A Leading Food Safety Platform

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 10, 2018 | Tilia Holdings (“Tilia”), a Chicago-based private investment firm focused exclusively on the food supply chain, completed its investment in Universal Pure Holdings, LLC (“Universal Pure” or the “Company”) on November 21, 2018. Headquartered in Villa Rica, Georgia, Universal Pure is the largest independent provider of high pressure processing (HPP) services to food and beverage manufacturers in North America. HPP is a high growth food safety and quality technology used to inactivate foodborne pathogens in refrigerated food and beverage products without the use of chemicals or additives. HPP also extends product shelf life without compromising taste, texture or nutritional value. The Company is also a leading integrated provider of cold storage, supply chain logistics and pre-HPP and post-HPP value-added services across its strategic facility footprint of five locations.

Mark Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Pure, and the current executive leadership team, who collectively bring over 185 years of industry experience, will continue to lead Universal Pure’s operations. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Tilia. Tilia’s exclusive focus on the food supply chain and expertise in scaling food safety businesses represent great alignment with our mission of always being focused on advancing the safety and quality of what we eat and drink. Tilia’s network and expertise will strengthen our industry leadership position and actively support our growth plans,” said Mr. Duffy.

Eric Larson, Co-CEO of Tilia who will serve as Chairman of the Board, said, “We founded Tilia to partner with companies exactly like Universal Pure. Universal Pure has positioned itself expertly at the intersection of converging market forces as demands for clean-label, natural and fresh food products continue to increase alongside growing food safety, quality, regulatory and sustainability trends. The acquisition is a result of our ongoing sector effort in alternative processing services, with Universal Pure being identified as the market leader in HPP.” Johannes Burlin and Rob Celin of Tilia and Jeff Williams, a Tilia operating advisor and former CEO of Avure Technologies, have also joined the Board of Universal Pure.

Johannes Burlin added, “Universal Pure has a demonstrated track record of success in becoming an outsourced, strategic partner to blue-chip food and beverage manufacturers. Throughout the Company’s history, Universal Pure has built an outstanding reputation for providing excellent customer service and has consistently delivered supply chain and food safety solutions to its customers. We look forward to becoming a value-added partner to Universal Pure through our deep understanding of food safety and our network of relationships in the industry and continuing to invest across the organization to further develop the Company’s employees, technical capabilities, service offerings and geographic reach.”

Mayer Brown LLP served as legal advisors to Tilia and Twin Brook Capital Partners provided debt financing in support of the transaction.


Universal Pure is the largest independent provider of high pressure processing (HPP) services in North America and is dedicated to helping ensure the safety and quality of foods and beverages. Companies also outsource with Universal Pure for cold storage and related pre-HPP and post-HPP value-added services, including kitting, pricing, code dating and inventory control, and to leverage Universal Pure’s technical, quality assurance, engineering and cold-chain expertise. Universal Pure’s customer-centric and turnkey operations deliver a customized, flexible end-to-end solution across a diverse, blue-chip customer base through the company’s strategic footprint of four U.S. locations. For more information on Universal Pure, please visit


Tilia is a mission-driven private investment firm focused exclusively on building distinctive middle- market companies that provide outsourced, technical services across the global food and nutrition supply chain. Tilia has significant expertise scaling and growing services companies and believes in the parity between financial and operating expertise. Tilia’s deep sector focused strategy is a successful approach to investments that spans almost three-decades and approaches each investment as a steward by employing a consistent set of principles to improve capital across four dimensions: brand, human, social and financial. For more information on Tilia, please visit