Sterling Investment Partners ("Sterling"), a private equity firm that has been investing in and building middle-market companies for 28 years, announced that it has completed the sale of Lipari Foods, LLC ("Lipari Foods" or the "Company") to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”). Sterling has made a new investment in the Company and will hold a board seat. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lipari Foods is the leading specialty food products distributor in the Midwest. The Company offers its more than 10,000 customers, which are primarily small and mid-sized grocery store chains, access to over 25,000 national and proprietary stock keeping units across a broad range of “perimeter-of-the-store” food product categories, including, deli, bakery, dairy, confections, natural, organic and frozen.
Throughout Sterling’s ownership period, Lipari Foods has grown organically by increasing market breadth and penetration, and through strategic add-on acquisitions in existing and adjacent markets. Lipari Foods completed seven add-on acquisitions and successfully executed several operational initiatives, growing annual revenues to approximately $1 billion, expanding its product lines, enhancing its salesforce, and adding significant warehouse and manufacturing capacity.
Lipari’s management team, including founding family member and current CEO, Thom Lipari, will continue to lead the Company and maintain a significant investment.
“The guidance and support we received from Sterling was instrumental to our success. Sterling provided the resources necessary to allow us to execute on our shared vision for the Company,” said Thom Lipari. “We look forward to their continued involvement with Lipari Foods going forward.”
Charles Santoro, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Sterling noted, “We are very proud to have supported Thom and his leadership team to help build a more geographically diverse business, broaden the Company’s product offering and make significant investments in operations and human capital in order to achieve our strategic objectives for this dynamic business.”
Mr. Santoro continued, “The Company is extremely well positioned for future growth and we very much look forward to working with H.I.G. and the management team of Lipari Foods during this next phase of growth.”
Sterling Investment Partners
Sterling Investment Partners is a private equity firm with a highly experienced, cohesive team of senior investment professionals. Sterling acquires businesses that the firm believes have strong, sustainable competitive advantages and significant opportunities for value creation. Sterling has over $1.5 billion in initial fund commitments. Over its history, Sterling has completed platform investments, strategic or add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of over $15.8 billion, representing more than 160 transactions. Key industries Sterling focuses on include value added distribution – B2B and consumer, business services, speciality manufacturing, and transportation and logistics. www.sterlinglp.com