Audax-backed Imperial Dade buys again

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Imperial Dade, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity, is purchasing JPC Enterprises Inc., a distributor of foodservice disposables and janitorial products doing business as Jersey Paper. This deal serves as the fifth add-on acquisition since the PE firm first invested in Imperial Dade in 2016.

Jersey Paper serves customers in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan communities with paper, packaging, plastics, disposables and janitorial supplies. Founded in 1935, the Edison, New Jersey-based target offers a selection of more than 4,000 products. Jersey Paper operates from a 152,000 square food distribution center with a list of manufacturers, which include: Georgia Pacific, Dart Container, and Pactiv. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Jersey Paper deal comes as no surprise. In June, Imperial Dade president Jason Tillis anticipated “building the business through new customers, additional products and services, and acquisitions.” Audax created Imperial Dade in June when the PE firm merged Dade Paper & Bag Co. and Imperial Bag & Paper Co. LLC. The Jersey City, New Jersey-based buyer also distributes food service and janitorial supplies for supermarkets, “grab and go” convenience stores, stadiums and foodservice companies. Founded in 1935, Imperial was purchased in 2007 by Tillis and the company’s current CEO Robert Tillis. The business brings together a network of customers covering the tristate, Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Audax, a Boston private equity firm, backs lower middle-market companies with up to $35 million in Ebitda. Audax has been rather busy recently. In 2017 alone, the PE firm bought cleaning service provider EnviroVac, acquired aircraft hardware manufacturer Fastener Distribution Holdings, and combined two companies to form an automotive aftermarkets parts distributor called APC Automotive Technologies. Audax also raised a $1.6 billion senior loan fund to pursue business services and consumer product deals. The firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2015 Mid-Market Award for Private Equity Firm of the Year.

Other food container and packaging products deals include: Sabert Corp.'s buying of Mullinix Packages Inc. from Mason Wells; Packaging Corp. of America’s (NYSE: PKG) acquiring of another maker of corrugated products TimBar Corp.; and Novolex's purchasing of Heritage Bag Co., a maker of trash bags, food storage bags, medical waste bags and ice bucket liners.

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