Centre Partners Exits Distant Lands

Centre Partners Exits Distant Lands

distant lands nf1Centre Partners Management has sold its portfolio company Distant Lands Trading Company, a private label coffee company, to Ito En (North America), a subsidiary of Ito En, Ltd., a Japanese multinational beverage company, for $160 million. Centre Partners first invested in Distant Lands in 2006.

Distant Lands is a provider of private label and branded coffee to retail and foodservice companies.  The company is vertically integrated and uses a “seed-to-cup” business model which includes company-owned farms and mills in Costa Rica and Colombia as well as a sourcing and trading arm and roasting facilities in Washington and Texas.  Distant Lands was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Renton, WA (www.dlcoffee.com).

Bruce Pollack nf1“This transaction represents a successful outcome for Centre Partners and Distant Lands, and validates our strategy of supporting the growth of leading middle market companies. We credit the leadership of Distant Lands’ management team and employees, and are pleased they will have the opportunity to continue building the Distant Lands franchise with Ito En,” said Bruce Pollack, Centre Partners Managing Partner.

Centre Partners invests from $20 million to $60 million in North American based middle market companies that have $50 million to $500 million in revenue and $10 million to $60 million in EBITDA.  Sectors of interest include consumer, healthcare and business services.  The firm is currently investing through its sixth fund.  Centre Partners was founded in 1986 and has offices in New York and Los Angeles (www.centrepartners.com).

“Our partnership with Centre represented a key step in Distant Lands’ evolution.  During their ownership we have successfully added many new customers and product lines, such as our Panera-branded line of premium coffee and a proprietary Keurig-compatible single serve coffee offering.  We are well positioned to begin a new growth phase, and will benefit from the expertise and global resources of Ito En,” said Alton McEwen, CEO of Distant Lands.

Moelis & Company (www.moelis.com) was the exclusive financial advisor to Distant Lands in connection with this transaction.

© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-5-15

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