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Perishable Distributor Lipari Foods Acquired by H.I.G. Capital

Deal aims to further expand the company’s distribution and manufacturing operations
Lipari Foods logo

After scooping up a number of regional food companies in recent years to grow its distribution channels and product lines, perishables distributor Lipari Foods is now on the receiving end of an acquisition.

Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, which is based in Miami and bought out Westport, Conn.-based Sterling Investment Partners’ interests in Lipari Foods Operating Co. LLC, said it inked the deal with the Warren, Mich.-based company’s founding family to further expand its distribution and manufacturing operations.

Lipari Foods distributes a wide range of specialty and branded products primarily for the store perimeter, including bakery, dairy, deli, packaging, seafood, meat, grocery, foodservice, confectionery, convenience foods and beverages, and health, wellness and beauty products, and it counts among its customer base more than 13,000 retail locations in 15 states. With about $1 billion in net sales annually, Lipari’s 725,000-square-foot distribution and food manufacturing facility is based in suburban Detroit.

In a statement, Thom Lipari, president and CEO, said the deal with H.I.G. is well-timed to support the company’s strategic growth plan while helping to further continue its “successful growth trajectory."

"We remain committed to providing outstanding service to our long-standing, blue-chip customers," Lipari said. 

The distributor has grown through a series of regional acquisitions in recent years to expand its distribution channels and product lines, including firms such as Jerusalem Foods, R.M. Heagy Foods, Jim's Cheese LLC, Dairy Fresh Foods Inc., Clover Mountain Foods and the wholesale operations of Robert Wholey & Co., among others.

Commending Lipari’s management team for its “proven track record of profitable growth,” H.I.G. Managing Director Justin Reyna said the distributor has compiled “an impressive platform that has grown significantly over the years by expanding upon its midwestern roots. The company’s significant customer value proposition, diverse product portfolio and unparalleled distribution capabilities uniquely position it to capitalize on growth opportunities within the food distribution, import and manufacturing markets. We look forward to supporting Lipari and investing in both organic and acquisition-driven growth in its next stage of evolution.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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