Arbor invests in food distributor Greco & Sons: sources

Arbor Investments has recapitalized Greco & Sons Inc, taking a majority stake in the distributor of quality food products, according to two sources.

Financial terms of the transaction were not available.

Founded in 1990 by Eddie Greco and his father, Pasquale, the company started out making Italian sausage in Chicago and distributing it to pizza and fine-dining Italian restaurants, press reports say. It morphed into a distributor, specializing in pizza products, Italian specialties and deli products including lunch meats and cheeses. Greco, Bartlett, Illinois, has more than 8,000 customers.

The Greco auction began last year and Houlihan Lokey advised on the transaction, four sources said. Private equity firms including Thomas H Lee Partners and Kainos Capital bid for Greco, with Arbor Investments eventually winning the process, two of the people said. The deal closed in January.

Eddie Greco maintains, however, that Arbor didn’t acquire the company. “We didn’t get sold,” he told Buyouts. Scott Jaffe, Greco’s chief operating officer, declined comment.

Arbor, Chicago, focuses on middle-market food, beverage and related companies. In 2016, Arbor invested in Dunn Paper, which makes lightweight paper and tissue products. The PE firm also bought South Coast Baking, a maker of frozen cookie dough, last year.

In July, Arbor’s fourth flagship fund closed on $765 million, Buyouts reported. The PE firm’s inaugural debt fund also weighed in at $125 million.

Houlihan, THL and Kainos declined comment. Arbor couldn’t be reached for comment.

Action Item: Contact Eddie Greco, founder of Greco & Sons: +1 630-837-9900

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