Officials for Boulder-based Justin's LLC has sold a minority stake in the company -- which makes nut butters and candy bars -- to a private equity firm, founder Justin Gold confirmed Thursday.

Filings made Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Justin's received a more than $47 million investment consisting of a mix of equity, options and securities. Also noted on the filing was that the offering was made in connection with a merger.

When reached by phone, Gold told the Daily Camera that his firm merged with VMG Partners, a California-based private equity firm. VMG's current portfolio consists of branded consumer companies such as KIND, BabyGanics and Mighty Leaf Tea.

"The company's growing, and the company's growing faster than it knows how to manage," Gold said of Justin's.

Referring to the move as "smart capital," Gold said the combination would provide greater resources for the booming company to maintain and further its growth.

As a result of the merger, VMG officials will gain a presence on Justin's board of directors. According to the SEC filing, Michael L. Mauzé, a VMG managing director, and Wayne K. Wu, a VMG principal, were listed as directors of Justin's.

The investment resulted in VMG obtaining a minority stake, so the day-to-day operations of the Boulder firm will not change, Gold said.

"There's no exit in sight," he said. "It was an opportunity for us to grow more strategically."

VMG's Wu said that in addition to providing capital, his firm could assist Justin's in the sophistication of the operations and the sales strategy.

"We think we have the right tool box and resources to partner with Justin and the team to really drive the continued growth of the brand," Wu said.

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or wallacea@dailycamera.com.