Carla’s Pasta bought by Wisconsin specialty food company

Tribe 9 Foods of Wisconsin announced Thursday that it had bought Carla’s Pasta of South Windsor for $26.3 million and planned to maintain local production while expanding volume and distribution.

Tribe 9, a Madison-based maker of gluten-free pasta brand Taste Republic, said it bought Carla’s through a bankruptcy auction in Hartford County.

Carla’s, a well-known local maker of fresh pasta, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February citing tens of millions of dollars in debt and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its sales. The company has been in business for 43 years and had 140 employees as of February.

“While it hurt us to file for bankruptcy, we’re grateful that a value-driven organization such as Tribe 9 will be at the helm going forward. This means people keep their jobs and Carla’s legacy lives on,” said Sandro Squatrito, vice president of business development for Carla’s Pasta. 

The Carla’s acquisition will add to Tribe 9’s portfolio of gluten-free, grain-free and other  non-traditional pastas, Chairman and CEO Brian Durst said. “We will be thrilled to provide a complete range of solutions for our customers, including foodservice, industrial, retail, private label and contract manufacturing,” Durst said.

The deal is scheduled to close April 30, subject to final approval by the bankruptcy court. 

Robinson & Cole acted as legal advisor to Tribe 9 on the deal, and Alantra as financial advisor.

Liese Klein, Hartford Business Journal

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