U.S. private equity firm Blue Equity has acquired Liquor Barn, a Kentucky spirits, beer and wine retailer affiliated with Liquor Stores North America Ltd (TSX: LIQ). No financial terms were disclosed; however, in a separate release, Liquor Stores, an Edmonton-based operator of retail liquor stores, said the deal will generate proceeds of as much as $37.6 million. Liquor Stores, which also plans to sell a 51 percent interest in Birchfield Ventures LLC of New Jersey, is looking to refocus on core markets in Alberta, British Columbia and Alaska. Blue Equity said Liquor Barn will be relocated to Louisville, Kentucky.
Blue Equity Announces the Acquisition of Liquor Barn
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Private equity firm Blue Equity (www.blueequity.com) has announced that it has acquired Kentucky-based spirits, beer and wine retailer Liquor Barn (www.liquorbarn.com) from Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., a publicly traded company based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
As a part of the transaction, the corporate offices and all operations of Liquor Barn will be relocated and based in Louisville, Kentucky, which will now become the largest locally owned and operated retail chain of spirits, beer, wine and party goods in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Liquor Barn has 15 retail locations in Kentucky, including six locations in Louisville, six locations in Lexington, as well as stores in Danville, Bowling Green, and Elizabethtown. The stores range in size from 2,700 square feet to 30,000 square feet, with a flagship store that is more than 44,000 square feet.
Blue Equity, a Kentucky-based private equity firm, currently owns and operates multiple Party Mart Stores in Louisville, Kentucky. Party Mart offers a large selection of spirits, beer, wine and party supplies and the acquisition makes the company the leading retailer in the Commonwealth. Blue Equity recently formed Blue Rose Spirits, LLC to make the investment in the Liquor Barn assets. Blue Rose Spirits consists mainly of a partnership between Blue Equity and Vince Rosenblatt. Blue Equity previously invested in Angel’s Envy bourbon with Rosenblatt and together were instrumental in the development of the Angel’s Envy brand from inception. Angel’s Envy, which was sold to Bacardi Limited in 2015, has become one of the most emerging bourbon brands in the world.
“The acquisition of the Liquor Barn assets is the perfect next step in our quest to become the leading retailer for spirits, beer, wine and other products to our loyal and growing customer base in Kentucky and beyond,” said Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC. “We will also be able to secure nearly 175 full time jobs for the Commonwealth and build on the $10 million annual payroll base as we continue to grow the business.”
Matthew Rudd, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd. stated, “We are very fortunate to have built a relationship with Jonathan Blue and his team at Blue Equity. We believe this quality of local ownership will position the business for significant improvement and continued success.”
For more information, visit Blue Equity at www.blueequity.com.
BLUE EQUITY, LLC (www.blueequity.com) is an independent, private equity firm that invests in enterprises with solid developmental potential. We form partnerships with existing management teams to leverage the collective expertise of all involved. Our investment efforts and managerial capabilities are focused on the operation of a global and diversified portfolio including current and historical holdings in oil and gas, media, talent, sports and entertainment, wine and spirits distillation and retailing, hospitality and traditional distribution businesses. Blue Equity is dedicated to helping businesses grow by accelerating opportunity and driving innovation to the marketplace.
LIQUOR STORES N.A. LTD. is a Canadian-based operator of retail liquor stores. The Company operates over 200 stores in Canada, over 20 stores in Alaska and 3 stores in the Connecticut/New Jersey area. The Company’s Liquor Stores primarily operate under the brand names Liquor Depot, Liquor Barn, and Wine and Beyond in Alberta; Liquor Depot and Wine Cellar in British Columbia and Brown Jug in Alaska. The stores in New Jersey operate under the name Joe Canal’s Discount Liquor Outlet. Stores in Canada generally range in size from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet. Its stores in Alaska range in size from 1,400 to 14,000 square feet. It has combined store and warehouse premises in Alaska of over 40,000 square feet.
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Eddie Keogh