Voegeli family to expand its Birds Eye Holdings in east Wichita

UPDATED – Birds Eye Holdings, a private equity firm the Voegeli family formed last year after selling Exacta Aerospace, is almost doubling its square footage with a move to the east side of Wichita.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of activity, and we really need to grow our team … to capitalize on those (opportunities),” says CFO Seth Albin.

The firm now is in almost 2,000 square feet in the Bank of America Center at Douglas and Broadway.

The new space at Country Club Park at 13th and Webb Road will be almost twice that size.

Birds Eye has five employees and plans to add two or three people in the next 12 months, Albin says.

“That would have created a little bit of a pinch over here.”

Albin says the employees will be a combination of support staff and what he calls diligence team members who can help with deals.

“It’s been remarkable what we’ve seen in terms of activity,” Albin says. “We look for deals that create value for our shareholders on a long-term basis.”

He says the firm’s goal is to “beat market returns … consistently on a risk-adjusted basis.”

Albin says that, so far, deals have “kind of been a little bit all over the board.”

On the real estate side, that includes development land, commercial office space and some retail and industrial space investments that are in the works.

On the equity side, that includes placements with biotech, manufacturing and potentially some consumer products.

“We have the luxury, since we’re family owned, to have a fairly broad range that we’ll consider in terms of industry focus,” Albin says.

“Primarily what we have done has been in Kansas right now,” he says.

The firm is looking for deals throughout the Midwest, and Albin says there’s a potential for deals farther beyond as well.

Albin says the firm is hopeful the new space will be ready in July after workers finish readying it.

“They’re moving really fast, which is great.”