Palm Beach Builds C-Store Distributor

Palm Beach Capital has acquired Consumer Products Distributors LLC (DBA J. Polep Distribution Services) and Rachael’s Food LLC (collectively DBA J. Polep), a full-line wholesale distributor to the convenience and grocery store industry.

Polep is a distributor of candy; snack items; fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods; cigarettes and cigars; and coffee products to over 6,000 customers located throughout the Northern United States. Over the past several years, the company has expanded its product lines to include sandwiches, salads and grocery items.

Polep is currently ranked as the seventh-largest wholesaler to the convenience store industry and operates seven distribution and cross-dock centers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. The company was founded by Charles Polep in 1898 as the Polep Tobacco Company and today is led by Chairman Jeff Polep and CEO Eric Polep with a headquarters in Chicopee, MA (www.jpolep.com).

In October 2014, Palm Beach Capital acquired Harold Levinson Associates (HLA), a full-line distributor of more than 18,000 SKUs including candy, cigarettes and cigars, frozen and refrigerated foods, and branded coffee, to more than 12,500 customers from Eastern Pennsylvania to New England. HLA operates five distribution centers located in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is ranked as the fifth-largest wholesaler to the convenience store industry. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered on Long Island in Farmingdale, NY (www.hladist.com).

Palm Beach Capital’s investments in HLA and J. Polep were both completed through Palm Beach Capital Fund III LP, a $133.5 million fund raised in 2011.

“Our strategy is to invest in solid management teams and assist them in their long-term strategic growth plans. The management team at J. Polep and the family culture it exemplifies with its customers, vendors and employees, embodies the values that we seek in a partner,” said Mike Schmickle, a partner at Palm Beach Capital. “Having made our initial venture into the convenience distribution space in 2014 with our investment in HLA, we have identified the industry as one that is uniquely positioned for growth and consolidation. J. Polep and HLA will both become independent members of our new convenience distribution division and we intend to add additional members in the future.”

Palm Beach Capital makes control and non-control investments of $5 million to $50 million in companies with enterprise values from $20 million to $200 million, and that have at least $20 million of revenue and a minimum EBITDA of $5 million. Sectors of interest include business services, business process outsourcing, transportation and logistics, and healthcare. Since founding in 2001, Palm Beach Capital has made investments in 49 companies and has approximately $325 million in total assets under management. The firm has offices in West Palm Beach and Sarasota (www.pbcap.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | October 1, 2019

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