PE-backed Imperial Bag & Paper buys Dade

Imperial Bag & Paper Co. LLC, which is backed by Audax Private Equity, has acquired Miami-based Dade Paper & Bag Co, a distributor to restaurants, supermarkets, cruise lines and other food service establishments in the Eastern U.S. No financial terms were disclosed. Ropes & Gray LLP advised Imperial on the transaction while Akerman LLP and Harris Williams & Co. represented Dade.


JERSEY CITY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Imperial Bag & Paper Co., LLC (“Imperial”), one of the largest distributors of disposable food service and janitorial supplies in North America, has completed its acquisition of Dade Paper & Bag Co. (“Dade”), based in Miami, Florida. Dade, founded in 1939, is a leading distributor to restaurants, supermarkets, cruise lines, and other food service establishments in the Eastern United States. This acquisition will bring the revenue of the combined business to over $1.0 billion and will expand its presence in key regions.

“The Dade Paper team is an important addition to our growing platform,” states Jason Tillis, President of Imperial. “This represents a major step forward in our core markets and geographies. It reinforces our position as a leading distribution and service provider in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions, while positioning us to continue to expand throughout the remainder of the United States.”

“The legacy of both Imperial and Dade is outstanding, and the combined organization will continue to build on that legacy,” adds CEO of Imperial, Robert Tillis. Frank Sansone, COO of Dade, comments: “Our team is incredibly excited to join Imperial. Our customers, employees and suppliers are all going to benefit from the increased service footprint, combined product offering, and growth opportunities this transaction creates.”

Both Robert and Jason Tillis continue in their roles of CEO and President, respectively. Sansone and the Dade management team will remain in their current roles as they join Imperial. Customers will not experience any immediate changes in the way they interact with Imperial or Dade beyond increased product and service offerings. “Continuity is a very large focus for any of our acquisitions,” continues Bob. “Dade represents our 10th acquisition since 2007, and we are excited to welcome Frank and the rest of Dade organization to the team. Our combined efforts will focus on our customers and our people so that this will be a positive outcome for all of our constituents.”

In January 2016, Imperial partnered with Audax Private Equity (“Audax”) to support the next leg of growth. Don Bramley, Managing Director at Audax, comments, “We are thrilled to have partnered with Bob and Jason on this transformational phase of growth and the Dade transaction represents a meaningful step in our partnership as we continue to build the business organically and through acquisitions.”

Imperial was advised by Ropes & Gray, LLP. Akerman, LLP and Harris Williams & Co. represented Dade.

About Imperial Bag & Paper
Imperial, headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, is one of the nation’s leading distributors of disposable food service and janitorial supplies for supermarkets, schools, “grab-n-go” convenience stores, and retailers. Imperial was formed in 1935 and was purchased by the current CEO, Robert Tillis, and President, Jason Tillis, in 2007. Under Robert and Jason’s leadership, the company has grown both organically and through acquisitions to become one of the foodservice disposables and janitorial supplies industry leaders. For more information, visit

About Dade Paper
Founded in 1939, Dade is a leading distributor of foodservice disposables and janitorial supplies serving customers across more than 20 states with an emphasis on supermarkets, foodservice providers, cruise lines, and schools. Dade primarily serves the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets reaching from Florida to Maryland with additional locations in the Tri-State and Northeast regions.

About Audax Private Equity
Since 1999, Audax has invested $4 billion in 105 platform and 573 add-on acquisitions. Through its disciplined Buy & Build approach, Audax seeks to partner with leading management teams and help execute add-on acquisitions that provide geographic or end market expansion, fuel revenue growth, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value.