Recent News

December 31, 2014
Sterling Investment Partners’ Portfolio Company Lipari Foods Expands Specialty Offerings with Acquisition of Wisconsin-based Soderholm Wholesale 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 signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Soderholm Wholesale Foods of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The acquisition will expand the breadth of products available to Soderholm customers while strengthening Lipari’s portfolio of natural, organic, vegetarian and gluten-free foods in particular.

The acquisition continues Lipari’s strategic growth to be the leading “perimeter of the store and specialty” distributor.  Soderholm’s strong specialty product line across the frozen, dairy, meat, seafood, deli, bakery, and produce departments complements Lipari’s current offerings. Most exciting of all, says Lipari Foods President/CEO, Thom Lipari, is the fact that Soderholm is a recognized leader in delivering first-to-market product solutions in the fast-growing natural, organic, vegetarian and gluten-free categories.

“There’s no doubt that Soderholm Foods is a high quality company,” states Lipari. “We are excited to strengthen the quality and variety of items available to our combined customer base – especially those asking for in-demand products that fit today’s lifestyle. This is an excellent answer for everyone.”

Unique specialty brands in distribution include OMG! It’s Gluten Free, GT’s Kombucha, The Fillo Factory, Alo Drink, Tofutti and Yancey’s Fancy.

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.

Soderholm Wholesale Foods, Inc.
Soderholm Wholesales Foods was founded in 1961 as a one-man operation servicing the Madison, Wis., retail market. Soderholm Foods has long taken pride in being first to market with new trends in the fast-growing Natural/Organic/Vegetarian foods category, supplying health food stores among others. Today Soderholm Foods services over 500 food outlets throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illiniois.

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 $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.