Recent News

January 01, 2016
Sterling Investment Partners’ Portfolio Company Lipari Foods Continues Expansion of Specialty Offerings with Acquisition of Ohio-based Leo A. Dick & Sons Co.

Sterling Investment Partners (“Sterling”), a private equity firm that has been investing in and building middle-market companies for 25 years, announces that its portfolio company, Lipari Foods, a leading Midwest food distributor based in Warren, Mich., has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the specialty and gourmet business of Leo A. Dick & Sons Co. of Canton, Ohio. The acquisition will strengthen Lipari’s existing specialty grocery product portfolio which includes a broad range of natural, organic and gluten-free foods. Mr. Leo A. Dick, the president of Leo A. Dick & Sons, and Mr. Lawrence J. Dick, the Vice President of Leo A. Dick & Sons, will join Lipari’s specialty food division.

The addition of Leo A. Dick & Sons follows Lipari’s 2015 acquisition of Wisconsin-based Soderholm Wholesale Foods, which also boasted an extensive specialty grocery product line. The acquisition will strengthen Lipari’s strategic position of being one of the leading “perimeter of the store and specialty” wholesale food distributors in the US.

“Our customers continue to bring more natural, organic and specialty products into their stores in order to meet the needs of today’s consumer,” says Lipari Foods President/CEO, Thom Lipari. “With the acquisition of Leo A. Dick & Sons, we will continue to deliver high quality product solutions to our customer base.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with one of our industry’s leaders. I look forward to bringing our extensive capabilities and a lifetime of experience in specialty food distribution to support Lipari Foods. This will benefit our current customers by increasing our product offering more than tenfold and enable Lipari Foods to represent a broader and more innovative product selection,” says Leo Dick, whose grandfather founded the business nearly a century ago.

The acquisition is subject to completion of definitive documentation and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is expected to occur in the next several weeks.
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, confectionary and convenience foods and beverage products to over 5,000 customers across 12 states.

Leo A. Dick & Sons Co.
Leo A. Dick & Sons, Inc is a specialty grocery distributor based in Canton, Ohio. With over 7,000 specialty food items representing more than 400 manufacturers and purveyors of gourmet foods; Leo A. Dick & Sons services food markets in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania.
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 initial 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 $12 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.