HCPI Targets Restaurant Logistics

November 09, 2021

The Chicago-based family office has acquired quick-service restaurant logistics provider Customized Distribution for an undisclosed amount.

Chicago-based family office HC Private Investments LLC is entering the restaurant logistics sector with the acquisition of Customized Distribution LLC, or CDI, for an undisclosed amount.

Norcross, Ga.-based CDI provides last-mile logistics and planning, warehouse and distribution fleet services to quick-service restaurants. The company serves over 1,100 QSR locations in 12 states and has three warehouses in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

HCPI, which closed the acquisition in June, plans to expand CDI’s geographic footprint to better serve the company’s existing clients as well as bring on new customers.

“We’re talking to several leading QSRs in the current marketplace to bring them onboard in the next six to 18 months,” said Richard DiStasio, CDI’s new CEO.

HCPI, which typically invests in consumer and industrial companies with $10 million to $100 million in revenue, looks to be the first outside capital for a business and partners with a group of executives experienced in the sector the firm is targeting as an adviser on the transaction.

For CDI, the investor turned to DiStasio, who identified the logistics company as a potential investment for HCPI and took over as CEO following the close of the transaction.

DiStasio, who, among other roles, previously served as chairman and CEO of plastic pallet rental company iGPS Co. LLC, backed by Balmoral Funds LLC, and as an operating partner at private equity firm Arbor Investments, had an existing relationship with CDI’s former CEO, Marc Gruber.

The two executives talked about a potential acquisition a few years ago when DiStasio was still at Arbor. They decided, however, to pursue a transaction in earnest in late 2019 as the latter was gearing up to leave his role at the private equity firm, according to DiStasio.

The pandemic temporarily halted deal talks, which DiStasio and Gruber picked up again in late 2020. It was around this time that DiStasio connected with HCPI to bring them on as an investor before signing an agreement in early 2021.

“We were able to spend a lot of time getting to know each other well in advance of this deal and then working on the growth plan together,” said John P. Kelly, managing partner at HCPI.

HCPI and DiStasio are also looking at add-on acquisitions as an avenue to enter new markets. Such transactions maybe a way off, however, as the company focuses on handling its current customer base in the near term.

“There’s not an immediate effort there,” Kelly said. “However, it’s something we continue to evaluate as we go.”

HCPI looked to Winston & Strawn LLP for legal advice on the deal while Wintrust Financial Corp. provided debt financing.