Recent News

January 01, 2015
Sterling Investment Partners’ Portfolio Company Lipari Foods Acquires Clover Mountain Foods

Sterling Investment Partners (“Sterling”), a private equity firm that has been investing in and building middle-market companies for almost 25 years, announces that its portfolio company, Lipari Foods, a leading Midwest food distributor based in Warren, Mich., has agreed to acquire 100 percent of Clover Mountain Foods, headquartered in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. The acquisition expands Lipari’s service area and fulfills another strategic goal for the company.

Lipari’s plan is to be the premier “perimeter of the store and specialty” distributor. Tony Franchi, Vice President of Sales at Lipari Foods, says: “We are excited to team up with a solid, service driven company like Clover Mountain Foods. They have a great reputation in the marketplace. Combining what they have established with all that Lipari brings to the table means increased value for all of our customers.”

The acquisition of Clover Mountain was a natural “next step” for Lipari, as the two companies have a similar product portfolio of local and national brands and share established relationships with many manufacturing partners. Longtime Clover Mountain executive, William Virgi, will continue to serve customers in his new role as Regional Vice President of Sales.  Lipari also acquired Soderholm Foods of Sun Prairie, Wis., in December 2014, deepening their offering of natural, organic, vegetarian and gluten-free foods.

Lipari Foods, LLC
Lipari Foods was founded in 1963, the next step in the career of Jim Lipari, who began by delivering unique products from the back of his Buick station wagon. Today Lipari Foods is a leading independent “perimeter of the store” distributor in the Midwest, delivering a wide range of quality bakery, dairy, deli, packaging, seafood, meat, grocery, foodservice, confectionery and convenience food and beverage products to over 5,000 customers across 12 states.

Clover Mountain Foods, LLC
Clover Hill Dairy Products was founded in 1973 by Louis Virgi and his family. After considerable growth year-by-year, and the building and expansion of its main facility, as well as acquiring several other businesses, Clover Hill Foods was itself first acquired by Behrhorst and Crawford in 1994. The company – renamed Clover Mountain Foods in 2013 – has become a food-distribution leader in a six-state area.

Sterling Investment Partners
Sterling Investment Partners is a private equity firm with a highly experienced, cohesive team of senior investment professionals. Sterling acquires businesses that the firm believes have strong, sustainable competitive advantages and significant opportunities for value creation. Sterling has over $1.5 billion in inital fund commitments. Over its history, Sterling has completed platform investments, strategic or add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of over $10 billion, representing more than 100 transactions. Key industries Sterling focuses on include business services, industrial and consumer value-added distribution, niche manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.