Shore Capital Partners, through its dedicated food and beverage fund, has acquired iTi Tropicals. Post-closing, iTi will partner with BevSource, a platform investment of Shore since November 2021.
iTi is an importer, marketer and distributor of plant-based products and tropical and exotic fruit juice purees and concentrates. The company’s suppliers are located worldwide including Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
iTi, led by President Gert van Manen, was founded in 1988 and is headquartered near Philadelphia in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
BevSource’s services include formulation and beverage development, ingredient and packaging sourcing, production management, and quality assurance. The company’s customers include small and large companies operating across multiple beverage categories, including beer, wine, spirits, energy drinks, teas, functional waters, carbonated soft drinks, and seltzers. BevSource was founded in 2002 by CEO Janet Johanson and is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The acquisition of iTi merges BevSource’s production management expertise with iTi’s expertise in unique juices. “Both BevSource and iTi will benefit a great deal from this partnership as we expand our suite of services and broaden our product offering,” said Ms. Johanson. “This is a significant step in our vision to build a one-stop shop for ingredients sourcing, packaging sourcing, and value-added supply chain solutions to entrepreneurs and established operators in the food and beverage industry.”
“We couldn’t be more excited for our customers, suppliers, and employees as we enter this partnership with Shore Capital,” said Mr. van Manen. “We believe the product suite, innovation expertise, and depth of resources Shore Capital has brought together with iTi and BevSource will allow us to bring even more value to our partners in the market.”
Shore Capital invests in lower middle-market healthcare, food and beverage, business services, and real estate-related companies that have $5 million to $100 million of revenue. In April 2019, Shore closed its third healthcare-focused fund, Shore Capital Healthcare Partners Fund III LP, with $293 million of capital, and its inaugural food and beverage fund, Shore Capital Food & Beverage Partners Fund I LP, with $148 million of capital.
Shore’s food and beverage fund has been very active. In addition to today’s buy of iTi and the November 2021 acquisition of BevSource, in May 2022 Shore purchased OC Flavors, a California-based developer and manufacturer of natural and organic-compliant liquid and powdered flavors. The company’s flavor profiles include various fruits, vanilla, chocolate, caramels, coffee, cola, floral, and herbal. OC’s products are used in various sectors and applications, including bakery, beverage, dairy, toppings, fillings, syrups, sauces, dressings, nutraceuticals, and condiments.
“Shore is thrilled to welcome iTi as a cornerstone of our food and beverage supply chain solutions platform,” said Richard Boos, the chairman of BevSource and a partner at Shore. “iTi is an immensely strategic addition to the platform, adding significant new capabilities, expertise, and deep customer and supplier relationships in the beverage industry while also expanding the platform’s reach into food end-markets. We look forward to partnering with management to continue growing these two best-in-class businesses into a leading provider of ingredients, packaging, and value-added supply chain solutions to the food and beverage industry.”
Shore Capital is headquartered in Chicago and has more than $3 billion of equity under management.
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