Private equity firm Arbor Investments has acquired a majority stake in Ontario, California-based DPI Specialty Foods, Inc. from Irish dairy cooperative Ornua Co-Operative Limited. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
DPI, one of the largest specialty food distributors in the United States, sells a variety of gourmet, ethnic, organic, and better-for-you foods to national, regional and independent retailers and restaurants through eight distribution centers across the nation. The company currently employs approximately 1,800 associates and reported annual revenues in excess of $1.0 billion, according to a press release.
Ornua will retain a minority equity interest in the company. DPI’s existing senior management will also continue to lead the organization.
Arbor CEO Gregory Purcell said that the specialty food distribution center presents a great investment opportunity, noting that retailers and foodservice operators are looking for companies like DPI who can “provide geographic scale, individualized customer service and deep merchandising services.”
More similar acquisitions could soon be in the works, according to Purcell.
He added, “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 category.”
DPI’s President and CEO Russ Blake shared that Arbor is a perfect fit for the company and that he was enthusiastic about unlocking DPI’s potential.
"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," said Blake. "Arbor understands our value proposition and is a hand-in-glove fit with our Company."
Alan Weed of Arbor Investments complimented DPI on its growth over the years.
"DPI has an impressive thirty-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 Weed, Vice President of the Investment Management Team at 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."
Since its founding in 1999, Arbor Investments has acquired or invested in over 44 food, beverage, and related companies in North America.