Vestar backs maker of foodservice equipment

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Middle-market private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners is investing in Edward Don & Company (Don), a distributor of foodservice equipment and dinnerware. Financial terms of the investment was undisclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

Don supports the U.S. food industry by providing a variety of products covering dinnerware, glassware, flatware, disposables, paper towels and tissues, cleaning products and other miscellaneous kitchen supplies. The target’s distribution network includes restaurants, national chains, country clubs, schools and universities, government institutions, and the foodservice management sector. Don, founded in 1921, also provides kitchen design services for a variety of markets, including: fast-casual restaurants, casual dining, and themed restaurants.

Vestar, headquartered in New York, is a private equity firm that usually invests between $50 million and $200 million in U.S.-based middle market companies. With Vestar’s capital, Don plans to focus on geographic expansion and acquisitions. Since the firm’s inception in 1988, Vestar has invested more than $46 billion in 78 companies.

Wells Fargo Securities LLC (NYSE: WFC) is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Don and Horwood Marcus & Berk serving as legal counsel. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal counsel to Vestar.

In addition to Vestar, PE firms have been showing strong interest in restaurant-related deals. Recent middle-market deals include: Windjammer Capital Investors' purchase of Heritage Food Service Group from the Jordan Co.; and New Mountain Capital acquisition of Diversified Foodservice Supply Inc. from Denver private equity firm KRG Capital Partners.

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