Centre Partners sells Distant Lands Trading for $160 mln

Centre Partners Management LLC has sold Distant Lands Trading Company to Ito En Ltd. The deal is valued at $160 million. Renton, Washington-based Distant Lands supplies private label and branded specialty coffee to the U.S. grocery, foodservice and other retail channels. Moelis & Company advised Distant Lands.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY, February 4, 2015: Centre Partners Management LLC (“Centre Partners”), a leading middle market private equity firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, today announced that it has sold its portfolio company Distant Lands Trading Company, Inc. (“Distant Lands” or the “Company”) to Ito En (North America) Inc., a subsidiary of Ito En, Ltd. (“Ito En”; TSE: 2593), a leading Japanese multinational beverage company, for $160 million.

Distant Lands is a leading vertically integrated specialty coffee company focused on supplying premium private label and branded packaged and single serve coffee primarily to retail and foodservice companies.

Centre Partners Managing Partner Bruce Pollack said, “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.”

Distant Lands CEO Alton McEwen said, “Our partnership with Centre represented a key step in Distant Lands’ evolution. The support and the dedication of our employees has also been instrumental in facilitating Distant Lands’ growth and innovation. 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.”

Moelis & Company (NYSE: MC) acted as exclusive financial advisor to Distant Lands in connection with the transaction.

ABOUT CENTRE PARTNERS
Centre Partners, founded in 1986, is a leading private equity firm with a middle market focus that seeks to make acquisitions and equity investments alongside management teams who have or desire to make a meaningful economic stake in the future success of their businesses. Centre Partners has invested over $2 billion in more than 70 transactions, partnering with management teams across a broad spectrum of industries. Centre Partners provides those teams with access to its unique resources, which include an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. The firm is currently investing through its sixth fund. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.

ABOUT DISTANT LANDS
Established in 1982, Distant Lands is a leading provider of private label and branded specialty coffee to the U.S. grocery, foodservice and other retail channels. Distant Lands boasts a unique, vertically integrated “seed-to-cup” business model; the Company ensures its premier-quality product offering through utilization of Company-owned farms and mills in Costa Rica and Colombia, a green coffee sourcing and trading arm and strategically located roasting facilities in Washington and Texas. Distant Lands offers a broad range of specialty green coffees, roasted whole bean and ground coffees and proprietary single serve products. The Company is headquartered in Renton, Washington. Additional information is available at www.dlcoffee.com.