HKW Acquires Fresh Direct
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HKW Acquires Fresh Direct

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company (HKW) has acquired Fresh Direct Produce, a distributor of fresh, ethnic, tropical, organic, and specialty produce.

Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Fresh Direct distributes more than 1,000 fruit and vegetable items to the Western Canadian market. The company’s value-added services include ripening, grading, machine packaging, and bagging.

Fresh Direct is led by its CEO and co-founder Davis Yung (www.freshdirectproduce.com).

“After an exhaustive search for the right fit, the team is thrilled to partner with HKW. We feel they are the best equipped to help us realize our future growth plans,” said Mr. Yung. “HKW is a high-integrity team with extensive firm resources and experience growing businesses organically and through add-on acquisitions. We look forward to continuing to build our platform alongside an experienced Canadian investor in HKW.”

Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Company invests in companies with revenues between $20 million and $200 million and EBITDAs between $2 million and $20 million. Since 1982, HKW has completed 60 platform management buyouts of small middle-market companies throughout North America as well as 62 add-on acquisitions. The firm was founded in 1903 and is headquartered in Indianapolis with an additional office in New York (www.hkwinc.com).

“Davis represents the ideal executive through his drive, extreme dedication to customers, vendors, employees, and his strategic mindset. Fresh Direct Produce is a great addition to HKW’s health & wellness business sector and we are excited to partner with Davis and his team,” said John Carsello, a partner at HKW.

“Since our first meeting with Fresh Direct, we have been impressed with the team’s thoughtful execution of their strategic plan,” said Tom Shaw, a vice president at HKW. “The business has grown from eleven employees and two trucks in 2003, to over 220 employees, a fleet of 26 trucks, and 3 distribution facilities today, and it is well positioned for continued growth.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance was the financial advisor to Fresh Direct Produce.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | December 11, 2018

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