Food PE firm adds KKR muscle

Mike Troy
Editorial Director
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Derick Prelle, partner and head of portfolio operations a Butterfly Equity, a PE firm specializing in food and consumer goods investments.

Butterfly Equity, a tiny firm with $1 billion in assets under management, hired Derick Prelle, a top executive from mega-PE firm KKR, to lead its portfolio operations.

Prelle was named partner and head of portfolio operations at Butterfly Equity, a firm specializing in the food sector through verticals including agriculture and aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution and foodservice.

The hiring is noteworthy because Butterfly is tiny in the world of PE firms with only $1 billion in assets under management and Prelle was hired away from his role as managing partner of the America’s team at KKR, a firm with $208 billion in assets under management. Prelle has more than 20 years of experience in private equity and consulting having spent time at McKinsey & Co. prior to his role at KKR. Butterfly made headlines last June with its $510 million acquisition of Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup.

In his new role at Butterfly, Prelle is responsible for supporting portfolio company management teams in the identification, design and delivery of long-term value creation.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to welcome to our team a leader of Derick’s pedigree and experience to build an industry-leading portfolio operations practice,” Butterfly’s Co-CEOs Adam Waglay and Dustin Beck said in a statement. “Derick’s combination of deep food expertise and a diverse background in private equity operations, consulting and direct operating roles gives him the tools needed to help our portfolio companies achieve their maximum potential.”

In his role at KKR, Prelle oversaw one of the largest private equity operations teams in the industry including sectors such as consumer, food and retail sectors.

“I am thrilled to join Butterfly at such an exciting inflection point in the firm’s growth,” said Prelle. “o come. “We are well on our way towards building a world-class Butterfly operations team that will create value for all our stakeholders and will establish Butterfly as the partner of choice in the food space.”