August 27, 2018 12:45 PM, EDT

Food Service Distributor Atlantic Beverage Receives New Investment

Atlantic Beverage Co., an Edison, N.J.-based importer and distributor of nonperishable food and beverage products, has received new capital from a group of investment firms led by KCM Capital Partners in Chicago.

The amount was unspecified and terms of the transaction, which was described as a recapitalization, were not disclosed.

Atlantic Beverage

Jeff Muhlgeier started the business in 1974 as J.M. Catering and provided mobile catering and vending services along with wholesale beverage distribution. In 1986, Elliot Braun joined Muhlgeier to form Atlantic Beverage Co.

Muhlgeier and Braun will continue to run the business as president and chief executive officer, respectively, according to an Aug. 15 statement issued by KCM Capital Partners.

The business expanded from a wholesale distribution operation to become a redistribution specialist for more than 2,000 national and imported brands of food and beverage products and spices. The company also expanded from its base in the New York City metropolitan area to parts of New England, upstate New York, Western Pennsylvania and the Baltimore/Washington areas.

“We are excited to partner with Elliot and Jeff and invest in the continued growth of Atlantic Beverage,” said Emmett Mosley, a partner at KCM. “We look forward to building upon the company’s leadership position in the food service distribution industry and continuing the company’s already impressive track record of success.”

Joining KCM as investors in Atlantic Beverage are Huron Capital, a private equity investment firm based in Detroit, and Stonehenge Partners, an investment firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

Derek Ferguson, another KCM partner, said Atlantic Beverage is the first platform investment since the private investment firm was launched in 2017. The company plans to invest in lower middle-market business services, value-added distribution and specialty industrial businesses in the United States. The name KCM is taken from the firm’s investment philosophy, described as Keeping Continuity Matters.

The investment firm is targeting firms that are “niche market leaders,” have annual revenue of between $20 million and $200 million, and have founders and management teams in place that are interested in achieving what is called “transformational growth.”

Muhlgeier said he welcomes the new investors in his business.

“They share our vision for accelerating the growth and service capabilities of Atlantic Beverage and can provide the financial, strategic and professional resources necessary for accomplishing our goals,” he said in a statement.

Atlantic Beverage operates a fleet of three tractors, 22 straight trucks and three trailers, according to registration data on file with the U.S. Department of Transportation.