H.I.G. Capital divests Greenwich–based specialty food distributor Lipari Foods to investor group

US – H.I.G. Capital, a leading global alternative investment firm, has completed the divestment of US-based specialty food distributor Lipari Foods to an investor group led by Littlejohn & Co.

 After the closure of the transaction, in which terms were not disclosed, The Lipari family, management, H.I.G. Capital, and Sterling Investment Partners remain minority investors in the company.

Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Warren, MI, Lipari serves over 7,500 independent and specialty grocers through its expansive refrigerated distribution network, including over 2,000 supermarkets and convenience stores, across the US.

Among the distributor’s 25,000 products are many frozen seafood and meat items, along with dairy and deli foods and international grocery items, sourcing the products from over 2,000 suppliers.

It also reported Lipari to have made large investments in its manufacturing capabilities to diversify its product portfolio and further support its distribution operations.

H.I.G. acquired Lipari Foods in January 2019 in partnership with the Lipari family and the company’s senior management team.

Through many strategic initiatives, investments, and synergistic add-on acquisitions, the company achieved significant growth during H.I.G.’s ownership period, generating a strong return for its investors.

CEO Thom Lipari expressed excitement partnering with Littlejohn to support Lipari Foods’ next phase of growth and said H.I.G.’s decision to remain a minority investor highlights their conviction in the company’s long-term growth opportunities.

Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.A.-based Littlejohn, and Co., with an estimated US$7.8 billion (EUR 7.9 million) of assets under management, invests in middle-market companies.

Steven Kalter, managing director of Littlejohn, commented: “Under Thom’s leadership, Lipari has executed several strategic acquisitions that have positioned the company as a preeminent pure-play specialty food distribution platform in a fragmented sector.

We look forward to building on Lipari’s strong market position and speeding up its acquisition program as it seeks to become the partner of choice to food retailers nationwide.”

Thom Lipari, Chief Executive Officer of Lipari Foods, noted Littlejohn’s proven ability to build and scale distribution businesses will be valuable as Lipari seeks to expand its capabilities while continuing to deliver high-quality products and services for longstanding customers.

He added that the company looks forward to leveraging the firm’s resources to speed up the growth trajectory and execute Lipari’s significant organic and acquisition growth initiatives.

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