• January 8, 2019
  • North America

H.I.G. Capital Acquires Lipari Foods with Lipari Family and Management

SAN FRANCISCO – January 8, 2019 – H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with $30 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that one of its affiliates has acquired from Sterling Investment Partners (“Sterling”), and certain other selling shareholders, their interests in Lipari Foods Operating Company, LLC (“Lipari” or the “Company”). H.I.G. is partnering with the Lipari family and the current management team to grow the Company’s distribution and manufacturing platform. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Lipari is a leading distributor of perimeter-of-the-store, specialty, and branded food products, proudly serving over 6,300 customers throughout the Midwest and beyond. The Company’s products span the deli, bakery, dairy, specialty retail, seafood, packaging, confections, ethnic, and organic categories, providing customers with the broadest selection of largely perishable on-trend, perimeter-of-the-store, and specialty products. The Company generates approximately $1 billion of net sales annually, serving its customers via its state-of-the-art 725,000 sq. foot distribution and food manufacturing facility just outside Detroit, MI.

Thom Lipari, President and CEO of Lipari, commented, “We are very excited about partnering with H.I.G. to support Lipari’s strategic growth plan. The Company continues to have numerous opportunities to expand and H.I.G.’s experience and resources, particularly around M&A, will help us continue our successful growth trajectory. We remain committed to providing outstanding service to our longstanding, blue-chip customers.”

“Lipari is an impressive platform that has grown significantly over the years by expanding upon its midwestern roots,” added Justin Reyna, Managing Director at H.I.G. “We are very excited to partner with the Lipari management team, who has a proven track record of profitable growth. The Company’s significant customer value proposition, diverse product portfolio, and unparalleled distribution capabilities uniquely position it to capitalize on growth opportunities within the food distribution, import, and manufacturing markets. We look forward to supporting Lipari and investing in both organic and acquisition-driven growth in its next stage of evolution.”

About Lipari Foods
Jim Lipari, who began his career delivering BBQ sauce from the back of his Buick station wagon, founded Lipari Foods in 1963. Today Lipari Foods is a leading independent “perimeter-of-the-store” distributor in the Midwest and beyond, delivering a wide range of high-quality deli, bakery, dairy, specialty retail, seafood, packaging, confections, and organic food and beverage products to over 13,000 retail locations across 14 states. Over the years, Lipari Foods has also made substantial investments in its manufacturing and importing capabilities, which both support the distribution operation. Since that first employee in 1963, Lipari Foods has grown to 1,500 associates while its product offering of one BBQ sauce has grown to more than 25,000 items.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with $30 billion of equity capital under management*. Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused / value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.hig.com.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.


Justin Reyna
Managing Director

Matt Hankins

H.I.G. Capital
One Sansome Street, 37th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
P 415.439.5500
F 415.439.5525