Quirch merges with Colorado Boxed Beef, forming USD 3 billion company

Published on
October 28, 2020

Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.-based Quirch Foods has completed a merger with Colorado Boxed Beef, a food distributor headquartered in Lakeland, Florida.

Following the transaction – terms of which were not disclosed – Quirch Foods President and CEO Frank Grande will be promoted to lead the new entity, while Colorado Box Beef President and CEO John Rattigan Jr. has been named chief growth, strategy, and M&A officer. Together, they will oversee Quirch Foods, Colorado Boxed Beef, Pacific Foods Distributors (PFD Opco), E.J. Foods Opco, Butts Foods, Prefco, Metro Webb Opco, The Great Fish Co./Riptide Foods, Helmsman Freight Solutions, Phoenix Logistics and Cold Storage, and IQ Foods.

"With Colorado Boxed Beef and its operating companies now part of our unique portfolio of leading protein companies, we have increased our core domestic retail business and expanded into new geographies and channels," Grande said in a press release. "As a result, we are delivering a broader and more diverse product offering, including a number of new brands, that will help our customers differentiate and grow their businesses."

Colorado Boxed Beef was founded in 1975 and has become a leading supplier of protein products in the United States. It owns more than 1.4 million square feet of distribution space through facilities in Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. It was purchased by Altamont Capital Partners in 2017 and Altamont will retain an equity stake in the new company following the merger.

"Altamont's partnership has been instrumental in our success over the past few years," Rattigan said. "We look forward to continuing this momentum and believe that this merger is an excellent outcome for both companies. Quirch Foods, backed by Palladium Equity Partners, is committed to creating the leading protein portfolio in the industry and we are excited to be part of this growth. Our leadership team remains in place and we will continue to offer our combined customers exceptional service while enhancing our product offering."

Quirch, which distributes its seafood products under the Panamei Seafood brand, distributes and exports seafood as well as beef, pork, poultry, and other products independent and ethnic grocers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, U.S. national retailers, and Latin American export markets. It was acquired by Palladium Equity Partners in 2018.

The combination of Quirch and Colorado Boxed Beef has created a leading U.S. distributor and exporter of protein and ethnic food products, according to Palladium Partner Chris Allen. Allen said the merger broadens Quirch's core domestic U.S. retail business and increases the company's ability to service the foodservice distributor channel. The company now operates 20 distribution centers throughout the United States, has operation centers in the Southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean, and has a combined USD 3 billion (EUR 2.6 billion) in sales.

"We are pleased to support Quirch's enhancement of its platform through this transaction with Colorado Boxed Beef, which has brought together a family of highly regarded operating companies that pride themselves on service, expertise in protein distribution, and in helping customers grow their businesses," said Chris Allen, a Partner of Palladium. "The combination with Colorado Boxed Beef, following that of Butts Foods earlier in the year, is in line with our strategy as the management team continues to build the company into a leading distributor and exporter of protein and ethnic food products in the U.S."

Panamei Marketing Director Jorge Roza told SeafoodSource in 2019 that under Palladium’s ownership, Quirch would be taking more aggressive measures to grow and that the firm’s resources would line the way to future success.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” he said. “The Quirch’s worked very hard to put us in this position, and now, with Palladium’s help, we’re ready to take the next step.”

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