Palladium’s Quirch Closes First Add-On

Quirch Foods, a portfolio company of Palladium Equity Partners, has acquired Tennessee-based food distributor, Butts Foods.

Family-owned Butts Foods is a full-service protein distributor serving national and independent grocery stores and regional distributors in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s products include more than 2,000 SKUs of poultry, beef, pork, fish, turkey, vegetables, smoked meats, cheese, oils and condiments, and paper towels.

Butts Foods, led by its president R.E. Butts IV, was founded in 1935 as a live chicken distributor by Ray Butts Sr. and today operates four distribution facilities in Tennessee (2), Alabama (1) and Mississippi (1) with a headquarters 90 miles northeast of Memphis in Jackson, Tennessee.

Quirch Foods is a distributor of packaged foods, frozen foods, poultry, pork, seafood, beef, and deli items to independent and chain supermarkets, food service distributors, processors and manufacturers, cruise lines, and restaurants across the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The company is the exclusive distributor of Chiquita Brands frozen Tropicals and Fruits, Panamei Seafood, Kikiriquirch poultry and Mambo Foods.  Quirch operates six distribution facilities with over 700,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space and a fleet of more than 120 refrigerated trucks. The company was founded in 1967 by Guillermo Quirch Sr. and his two sons, Eduardo and Guillermo Jr. and is headquartered near Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

“Butts Foods has been providing quality service to their customers for decades and it was a natural fit to our distribution footprint,” said Frank Grande, the president of Quirch Foods. “Quirch Foods and Butts Foods will continue to focus on delivering exceptional service and support to our independent and national grocery customers with quality products including our company-owned brands.”

The buy of Butts Food is the first add-on acquisition completed by Quirch since being acquired by Palladium in December 2018.

“The acquisition of Butts Foods by Quirch Foods is in line with our strategy as the company’s management team continues to build Quirch into a leading distributor and exporter of protein and Hispanic food products in the US, with an enhanced presence in the Southeast,” said Chris Allen, a partner of Palladium. “We are pleased to support Quirch’s enhancement of its platform with the Butts Foods acquisition and are excited to welcome its talented employees to the team.”

New York City-based Palladium invests from $50 million to $150 million of equity in companies that have $10 million to $75 million of EBITDA.  Sectors of interest include consumer, services, industrials and healthcare, and Palladium specializes in investing in companies that operate in the US Hispanic market.

In July 2019, Palladium held a final close of Palladium Equity Partners V LP with commitments of $1.56 billion. The firm’s earlier fund, Palladium Equity Partners IV LP, closed on $1.14 billion in 2014. Since its founding in 1997, Palladium has invested over $2 billion of capital in more than 35 platform investments and completed over 135 add-on acquisitions.

Private Equity Professional | May 12, 2020

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