Private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners has purchased an 80% stake in US natural food retailer Earth Fare in a transaction worth US$300m.
The deal sees Oak Hill Capital investing in a partnership with Earth Fare’s current management team and Monitor Clipper, which retains “a significant minority interest”.
Oak Hill Capital partner Tyler Wolfram said Earth Fare is “well-positioned” for expansion given its “robust consumer demand for natural and organic food, widespread interest in environmental sustainability, and significant market opportunity across the US”
“Earth Fare’s unique ‘food philosophy’ and commitment to educating its local communities about healthy living create an authentic shopping experience and loyal customer base, as evidenced by its strong historical growth,” Wolfram said. “We look forward to working closely with Jack Murphy and the rest of the management team to support Earth Fare’s next phase of growth.”
North Carolina-based and founded in 1975, Earth Fare operates around 25 stores across the Southeastern and Midwestern US. It claims to be one of the only supermarket retailers in the country to ban high-fructose corn syrup, artificial fats and trans-fats, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, as well as antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones in fresh meats and dairy sold in its stores.
Jack Murphy, CEO of Earth Fare, said: “Earth Fare is extremely excited about the future. We look forward to growing our business with Oak Hill Capital and Monitor Clipper. Oak Hill’s experience in high growth retail partnered with our brand, culture and management team is the perfect combination to continue to build a great company.”