Quirch Foods, producer of the Panamei Seafood brand, makes its first acquisition

Published on
May 11, 2020

Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.-based food distributor Quirch Foods has made its first acquisition, according to its parent company Palladium Equity Partners.

Quirch Foods – which is behind the Panamei Seafood brand – has purchased Butts Foods, a fresh protein distribution company operating five facilities out of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, Palladium announced on 11 May. The acquisition follows the opening of a new Quirch distribution center in Greensboro, North Carolina, and signifies the company’s commitment to further expanding its geographic footprint, Quirch Foods President Frank Grande explained.

"Butts Foods has been providing quality service to their customers for decades and it was a natural fit to our distribution footprint. Quirch Foods and Butts Foods will continue to focus on delivering exceptional service and support to our independent and national grocery customers with quality products including our company owned brands. We are excited to welcome the Butts Foods team to the Quirch Foods Family," Grande said in a press release announcing the acquisition.

Founded in 1935, full-service protein distributor Butts Foods is headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee and conducts business with national and independent grocery stores and regional distributors in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest. Specializing in the distribution of a variety of protein products, including fish, the company sees the merger with Quirch as an opportunity to further its renown and reach with a likeminded partner, Butts Foods President R.E. Butts IV noted.

"This partnership represents a great opportunity for the team to continue to grow the business with more tools and support than ever before in our 85-year history. It also represents joining a company whose family values, history, culture, and vision are the same as ours," Butts said.  

Palladium, a middle market private equity firm with approximately USD 3 billion (EUR 2.7 billion) in assets under management, also views the acquisition as strategically aligned.

"The acquisition of Butts Foods by Quirch Foods is in line with our strategy as the company's management team continues to build Quirch into a leading distributor and exporter of protein and Hispanic food products in the U.S., with an enhanced presence in the Southeast," said Chris Allen, a Partner of Palladium. "We are pleased to support Quirch's enhancement of its platform with the Butts Foods acquisition and are excited to welcome its talented employees to the team."

Affiliates of Palladium acquired Quirch Foods in 2018, adding to the private equity firm’s 35 platform investments and over 135 add-on acquisitions.

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