Countryside Foods acquires distributor

The Lower Mid-Market Group of Goldsmith Agio Helms represented Chef Solutions Inc in the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary, I&K Distributors Inc.

I&K distributes refrigerated food products to grocery retailers throughout the Midwest. Besides national brands, the company offers specialty items for the refrigerated sections of its customers' deli, dairy, bakery, and meat departments. Its 400 employees operate from the company's automated distribution center in Delphos OH and nine remote depots.

I&K was acquired by Countryside Foods LLC, an entity controlled by private equity sponsor Ramex Inc.

Certain products that have long been central to I&K's product array — including Yoders deli salads and side dishes and Michigan Brand cottage cheese — are owned and manufactured by Orval Kent Foods, another subsidiary of Chef Solutions. The relationship between the two subsidiaries was, in effect, one of supplier and customer. Since the proposed sale would eliminate their common ownership, the negotiation of an exclusive distribution agreement between I&K and Orval Kent became a key aspect of the deal.

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