An investor group led by Littlejohn & Co., LLC (“Littlejohn”), a private investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, today announced that it has acquired Lipari Foods (“Lipari” or the “Company”), a leading specialty food distributor. The Lipari family, management, H.I.G. Capital, and Sterling Investment Partners remain minority investors in the Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Warren, MI, Lipari is a leading distributor and value-added manufacturer of “perimeter-of-the-store” specialty foods, primarily serving over 7,500 independent and specialty grocers, with a growing base of over 2,000 national supermarket, convenience store and other customers across the United States. Lipari offers over 25,000 products, spanning deli, bakery, foodservice, specialty grocery, dairy, frozen seafood and meats, international foods, confections, and packaging items through its expansive refrigerated distribution network.
“Lipari builds upon Littlejohn’s deep expertise investing in value-added distribution platforms,” said Tony Miranda, Managing Director of Littlejohn. “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 growth and operational excellence. We are excited to partner with Thom Lipari and the rest of the management team to support Lipari’s next phase of growth.”
Thom Lipari, Chief Executive Officer of Lipari Foods, added, “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. 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.”
Steven Kalter, Managing Director of Littlejohn, commented, “We are excited to partner with Lipari given its compelling value proposition, diverse product portfolio, and superior service offering. Under Thom’s leadership, Lipari has executed a number of strategic acquisitions that have positioned the Company as a preeminent pure-play specialty food distribution platform in a highly fragmented sector. We look forward to building on Lipari’s strong market position and accelerating its acquisition program as it seeks to become the partner of choice to food retailers nationwide.”
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to Littlejohn. Piper Sandler and Harris Williams were financial advisors to Lipari Foods and McDermott Will & Emery LLP served as legal counsel to Lipari Foods and H.I.G. Capital.
About Littlejohn & Co., LLC
Littlejohn & Co. is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm focused on private equity and debt investments in middle-market companies. With approximately $7.8 billion of regulatory assets under management, the firm seeks to build sustainable success for its portfolio companies through a disciplined approach to engineering change. For more information about Littlejohn, visit www.littlejohnllc.com.
About Lipari Foods
Founded in 1963, Lipari Foods has grown to become a leading independent “perimeter-of-the-store” distributor and manufacturer, supplying over 25,000 products across deli, bakery, foodservice, specialty grocery, dairy, frozen seafood and meats, confections, international foods, and packaging items to over 9,500 unique customers, predominantly independent and specialty grocers across the United States. Lipari has also made substantial investments in its manufacturing capabilities to diversify its product portfolio and further support its distribution operations. Lipari has grown to approximately 2,400 employees and sources from over 2,000 suppliers. For more information about Lipari, visit www.liparifoods.com.