Berkshire Partners to Invest in Ottawa’s Farm Boy

Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners is to make a growth equity investment in Farm Boy Inc., an Ottawa, Ontario-headquartered retail grocer. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Berkshire Partners LLC, a Boston-based investment firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to make a growth equity investment in Farm Boy Inc., (Farm Boy(TM)), an Eastern Ontario based retail grocer specializing in quality fresh foods and exceptional customer service. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Since opening the first store on Cumberland Street in Cornwall, Ontario, in December 1981, Jean-Louis, Normand, and Daniel Bellemare, three brothers, have successfully expanded the business with 13 stores now serving the Greater Ottawa and Cornwall areas. Farm Boy’s newest location opened in October in Kingston.

Recognized for providing the best-tasting fresh foods and unique products in convenient, small format stores, the company continues to innovate and differentiate itself within a crowded market segment. With the introduction of their restaurant quality meals – all ready to eat at home or in the new in-store eating areas, Farm Boy has become a destination for time-pressed consumers looking to eat well.

“We are excited to partner with the Bellemare family, CEO Jeff York and the rest of the management team of Farm Boy, and we believe the company is very well positioned for future growth,” said Chris Hadley, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “Farm Boy’s stores deliver a unique fresh and friendly shopping experience compared to other food retailers. The company has exacting standards for freshness and quality, which translates into customer value and loyalty.”

On behalf of the Bellemares and the entire Farm Boy family, Vice President Jean-Louis Bellemare commented, “Berkshire’s long history of joining forces with family-owned businesses to create growth, combined with its experience investing in grocery retail give us great confidence that we have found the right partner to expand our business.” CEO Jeff York added: “We look forward to the continued growth of the Farm Boy store base with the support of a new investing partner that shares our vision for the business.”

Berkshire Partners has a breadth of experience investing in retailers and consumer-oriented businesses. Prior transactions include Grocery Outlet, an extreme value grocery chain with more than 185 stores in the western United States and Pennsylvania, Aritzia, a women’s fashion apparel retailer in Canada, Party City, a retailer of party goods, and National Vision, a value-oriented optical retailer.

About Farm Boy Inc.

Farm Boy is an eastern Ontario, food retailer recognized for its produce, meat, bakery, cheese and fresh kitchen prepared items. Incorporated in 1981, the company provides a unique shopping experience in comparison to big box retailers or traditional grocers. Farm Boy produces its own extensive line of private label products made with absolute dedication to the highest standards of quality and freshness. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, the company currently has 13 stores in the Greater Ottawa, Cornwall and Kingston regions with more stores planned.

About Berkshire Partners LLC

Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based investment firm, has invested in over 100 middle market companies since 1986 through eight investment funds with aggregate capital commitments of $11 billion. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas including consumer products and retail, business services, industrial manufacturing, transportation and communications. Berkshire has a strong history of partnering with management teams to grow the companies in which we invest with the goal of consistently achieving superior investment returns. The firm seeks to invest $50 million to $500 million of equity capital in each portfolio company.
SOURCE: Berkshire Partners LLC