Chicago-based Arbor Investments completed the acquisition of a majority equity stake in DPI Specialty Foods, Inc., Ontario, Calif., from Dublin, Ireland-based Ornua Cooperative Ltd. Ornua will retain a minority equity interest in the company, and DPI's existing senior management will continue to lead the organization.

DPI is said to be one of the largest specialty food distributors in the United States, with approximately 1,800 employees and annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. DPI sells gourmet, ethnic, organic and better-for-you foods to national, regional and independent retailers, quick-service restaurants and foodservice operators through eight distribution centers nationwide.

"DPI has an impressive 30-year record of profitably driving customer sales growth through individualized programs that combine best-in-class product selection, logistics and merchandising with a highly focused and flexible service model," says Alan Weed, vice president of Arbor Investments. "With a diverse network of national and international vendors, DPI has the pulse of specialty food trends, particularly in the dynamic gourmet, perishable, specialty, natural, organic, local and ethnic foods categories that retail customers and discriminating consumers demand."

"A unique specialty food product offering is the lifeblood of successful grocers,” adds Russ Blake, DPI's president and CEO. “DPI's service-centric model, providing a full suite of individually-tailored solutions, sets us apart from our competitors. Arbor understands our value proposition and is a hand-in-glove fit with our company. We are enthusiastic about unlocking DPI's potential."

"The specialty food distribution sector presents a great investment opportunity," says Gregory Purcell, chief executive officer of Arbor Investments. "Retail grocery America is crying out for an alternative distribution model to stop, drop and run. Increasingly, retailers and foodservice operators are realizing the value of partnering with a distribution service provider like DPI who can provide geographic scale, individualized customer service and deep merchandising services. Going forward, we expect to deploy Arbor's resources, capital and over 20 years of acquisition expertise to acquire family-owned specialty distributors to augment DPI's strong foundation and further enhance its already formidable standing in the specialty food distribution industry."

"The sale of DPI is consistent with Ornua's strategy of re-allocating capital and assets to support our continuing investments in enhanced routes to market for Irish dairy products through our businesses across global markets," adds John Jordan, chief executive officer of Ornua Foods Europe and Latin America. "As we evaluated potential acquirers, Arbor and its exclusive focus and stellar reputation in the food and beverage industry stood out. We believe that Arbor is the optimal equity partner to drive continued growth at DPI."