Shoreline Partners Up to Acquire Mr. Greens

Following hard on the heels of its hard cap, first fund close earlier this week at $300 million, Shoreline Equity Partners has made an investment in Florida Veg Investments (DBA Mr. Greens) in partnership with the company’s owners, management team, and other investors.

Mr. Greens is a value-added distributor of produce, dairy, and dry goods to more than 1,500 restaurants, hotels, country clubs, caterers, grocery stores, cruise ships and other export and retail clients. The company makes product deliveries 365 days a year, 7 days a week, with multiple delivery runs every day.

Miami-based Mr. Greens was acquired by Chairman Peter Politis in August 2011 and has grown from six employees in a 3,000 square foot facility to over 270 employees across three facilities with a total of 125,000 square feet. The Mr. Greens management team, including CEO Nick Politis (cousin of Peter Politis), will continue to lead the company under Shoreline ownership and maintains a significant ownership position in the company.

“Peter, Nick, and the rest of the Mr. Greens team have built an incredible business that has redefined customer service in the produce distribution space,” said Mike Hand, managing partner at Shoreline. “We are extremely grateful to be able to partner with the Mr. Greens’ team to help accelerate growth both organically and through add-on acquisitions.” According to Mr. Hand, Mr. Greens continues to grow rapidly and is immediately pursuing add-on acquisition opportunities across the country.

“We are thrilled with our new partnership with Shoreline as they share our vision for the future of Mr. Greens,” said Peter Politis. “As we grow, we will continue to remain committed to holding ourselves to the highest standard on product quality, service, and customer satisfaction.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Shoreline to continue to grow Mr. Greens and accelerate expansion into new markets across the country,” said Nick Politis. “Our partnership with Shoreline will allow us to make significant investments in the business to further enhance our capabilities and chef-driven service model.”

The Shoreline transaction team for this investment was led by Mr. Hand; Partner Peter Franz; Vice President Ian Garland; Vice President Zach Mittelmark; and Associate Mike Mancini.

Jacksonville, Florida-based Shoreline invests up to $100 million per transaction in support of buyouts, recapitalizations, and corporate divestitures. Typical target companies will have enterprise values from $25 million to $250 million and EBITDA of $5 million to $25 million. Areas of interest include non-capital-intensive businesses within the specialized manufacturing, value-added distribution, and business and industrial services sectors. Shoreline was founded in March 2019 by Michael Hand and Peter Franz.

Al Recher, the president and CEO of Five Star Food Service, a Chattanooga-based provider of on-site food and beverage services, and Fred LeFranc, founding partner of Results Thru Strategy, a Charlotte-based consulting firm, advised Shoreline on the transaction and have joined the board of directors of Mr. Greens. Five Star Food Service is a former portfolio company of PNC Riverarch. Mr. Hand led the acquisition of Five Star in October 2016 when he was a managing director at PNC Riverarch before leaving in 2019 to form Shoreline with Mr. Franz. Five Star was sold by PNC Riverarch to Freeman Spogli in March 2019.

Nuveen, Private Advisors (an affiliate of New York Life Insurance Company), investors affiliated with The Hillman Company (a Pittsburgh-based family office), NXT Capital, and Mr. Greens’ management have co-invested alongside Shoreline.  Senior financing for the transaction was provided by NXT Capital and the junior debt financing was provided by Nuveen.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey was the financial advisor to Mr. Greens on this transaction.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | January 10, 2020

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