Wholesalers & Distributors

Specialty foods distributor Lipari acquired by investment firm Littlejohn

Warren, Michigan-based Lipari, which sells refrigerated specialty items, was previously owned by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital.
Lipari
Logo: Lipari

Specialty foods distributor Lipari Foods has been acquired by an investment group led by Littlejohn & Co., a Greenwich, Connecticut-based private investment firm.

Warren, Michigan-based Lipari specializes in store perimeter specialty foods, selling more than 25,000 perishable products to more than 7,500 independent and specialty grocers, with more than 2,000 national supermarket, c-store and other customers around the country, the company said. Lipari’s portfolio includes deli, bakery, dairy, frozen seafood and meats, international foods, confections and more.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

In January 2019, Lipari Foods was acquired by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, which bought out Sterling Investment Partners’ interests in the company. That deal aimed to expand Lipari’s distribution and manufacturing operations.

H.I.G. Capital and Sterling retained minority stakes in Lipari.

“Littlejohn’s proven ability of building and scaling distribution businesses will be valuable as we seek to expand our capabilities while continuing to deliver high-quality products and service for our longstanding customers,” Lipari CEO Thom Lipari said in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging the firm’s resources to accelerate our growth trajectory and execute on Lipari’s significant organic and acquisition growth initiatives.”

Lipari Foods was founded in 1963. It has made “substantial investments” in its manufacturing capabilities to expand its product portfolio, according to a statement. The company has about 2,400 employees and sources from more than 2,000 suppliers.

“Lipari builds on Littlejohn’s deep expertise investing in value-added distribution platforms,” Little John Managing Director Tony Miranda said in a statement. “We have long admired Lipari and have been impressed with the company’s highly differentiated business model, tenured management team and impressive track record of operational excellence.”

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