Utah’s Creminelli salami acquired by private equity firm

(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) Cristiano Creminelli, an Italian artisan salami producer, poses for a portrait in a salami aging room at Creminelli Fine Meats in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.

Creminelli Fine Meats, which launched its artisan salami company more than a decade ago in Salt Lake City, is the latest acquisition of a Chicago-based private equity firm, company officials announced Tuesday.

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners, which sells food and packaged goods, plans to merge Creminelli with Daniele International, another Italian charcuterie and deli meat company it purchased in September.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Chris Bowler, Creminelli’s CEO and co-founder — along with Cristiano Creminelli — will continue to lead the business, a new release explained.

“We are excited about the marriage of these two companies and how it positions us to build our brand, grow and improve our product offering, and continue our expansion into new outlets and channels,” Bowler said in the statement. “We will be sharing the best of Creminelli with the best of Daniele and believe this transaction will enable us to continue our strong growth trajectory while expanding our values-guided mission.”

Founded in 1945 by the Dukcevich Family, Daniele International produces specialty Italian charcuterie and deli meats, including prosciutto, salami and snack packs. The products are sold under the Daniele and Del Duca brands, as well as private labels.

Cristiano Creminelli started making artisan salami — using a small-batch family recipe — in 2007, in the basement of Salt Lake City Caputo’s Market and Deli. Since then, the company has grown rapidly. Today, in addition to salami, its product line includes snack trays, deli trays and salami minis. The products are sold in high-end grocery stores and cafes across the U.S. and have won 11 Good Food Awards.

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners has two other investments: Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Superior Cake Products (an acquisition by Sara Lee Frozen Bakery).

This is the latest merger of iconic Utah products with national brands.

In 2012, Boston-based private-equity firm Fireman Capital Partners made a major investment in the Utah Brewers Cooperative — which operates Wasatch and Squatters Beers. Fireman then consolidated those Utah operations with Oskar Blues, a brewery it owned in Longmont, Colo.

And, in 2016, Utah’s High West Distillery, the state’s first modern-day maker of rye whiskey, was purchased for $160 million by Constellation Brands, one of the largest alcohol beverage companies in the country.