The Manischewitz Company, well known for its wine and Passover foods, has been sold a week before the Passover holiday.
Sankaty Advisors, an arm of the private equity firm Bain Capital, purchased the Newark, N.J.-based purveyor of kosher foods for an undisclosed price, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, less than a day after the deal had been first disclosed by The New York Times.
Under its new owner, Manischewitz is expected to promote kosher as an indication of quality food rather than just a religious designation, according to the Times.
“This investment reflects our confidence in the Manischewitz brands and team,” Sankaty Advisors said in a statement last week. “Manischewitz has earned a position as one of the most highly recognized brands in the world, and it has distinguished itself through a passionate commitment to producing the highest quality kosher products possible. We believe Manischewitz is well positioned to grow due to rising mainstream interest in kosher foods.”
Decades ago, Manischewitz was virtually the only wine that was poured into cups at the Shabbat table every Friday night and for the Seder on the first night of Passover.
Its unbelievably sweet Concord wine made it the butt of jokes, but since there was not much else around in the kosher wine business, the sticky liquid was accepted as the standard.
The Manischewitz Company was founded by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz, in 1888. It later began producing matzo, gefilte fish and borscht.
“Manischewitz has earned a position as one of the most highly recognized brands in the world, and it has distinguished itself through a passionate commitment to producing the highest quality kosher products possible,” Sankaty Advisors said in a statement, disclosing no terms of the deal.
JTA contributed to this report.