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Specialty distributor DPI acquired by private equity investor

Private food investor Arbor Investments said it has acquired Ontario, Calif.-based specialty food distributor DPI Specialty Foods from its owner, Irish dairy cooperative Ornua Co-Operative. Terms were not disclosed.

DPI is a sales, marketing and logistics provider with a range of more than 40,000 products and eight warehouses serving national, regional and independent retailers and restaurants with annual sales of around $1 billion. Chicago-based Arbor said it would look to acquire additional food distributors to augment its investment in DPI.

Ornua will retain a minority equity interest in DPI. Existing senior management will continue to lead the organization.

“DPI has an impressive 30-year record of profitably driving customer sales growth through individualized programs that combine best-in-class product selection, logistics and merchandising with a highly-focused and flexible service model,” said Alan Weed of Arbor Investments. “With a diverse network of national and international vendors, DPI has the pulse of specialty food trends, particularly in the dynamic gourmet, perishable, specialty, natural, organic, local and ethnic foods categories that retail customers and discriminating consumers demand.”


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Russ Blake, DPI’s president and CEO, commented, “A unique specialty food product offering is the lifeblood of successful grocers. DPI’s service-centric model, providing a full suite of individually-tailored solutions, sets us apart from our competitors. Arbor understands our value proposition and is a hand-in-glove fit with our company. We are enthusiastic about unlocking DPI’s potential.”

“The specialty food distribution sector presents a great investment opportunity,” added Arbor CEO Gregory Purcell. “Retail grocery in America is crying out for an alternative distribution model to stop, drop and run. Increasingly, retailers and foodservice operators are realizing the value of partnering with a distribution service provider like DPI who can provide geographic scale, individualized customer service and deep merchandising services. Going forward, we expect to deploy Arbor’s resources, capital and over 20 years of acquisition expertise to acquire family-owned specialty distributors to augment DPI’s strong foundation and further enhance its already formidable standing in the specialty food distribution industry.”

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