Investcorp Acquires Majority Stake in Sunrise Produce, A Leading Wholesale Produce Distributor

4 Oct 2022

Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm, today announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Sunrise Produce (“Sunrise,” or “the Company”), a leading wholesale produce distribution company based in Southern California. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1991 by Paul Carone, and headquartered in Fullerton, California, Sunrise provides customers across the specialty and white tablecloth restaurant and resort, education, healthcare and retail sectors with the freshest produce and perishable foods available. Today, Sunrise serves a diversified base of over 2,000 accounts, distributing products from a comprehensive regional supplier network across the western United States. The transaction is expected to fuel Sunrise’s future growth and provide meaningful opportunities for expansion and future acquisitions.

Sunrise is led by President and Chief Executive Officer David Sapia, an industry veteran with over 35 years of food distribution industry experience. Mr. Sapia joined Sunrise in 1998, partnering with founder Paul Carone to continue to build the company, and leading to significant expansion and revenue growth across sectors among both new and existing customers. Mr. Sapia remains a significant shareholder in the Company.

“We are extremely excited about this pivotal moment for our thriving company,” said Mr. Sapia. “Investcorp’s business acumen and resources make them an ideal partner to help fuel our next phase of growth and help us continue to serve our expanding roster of diverse customers with the quality and personal service that they’ve grown accustomed to from Sunrise.”

In addition, the Company announced that Paul Carone, Founder of Sunrise, is retiring. “I am truly grateful for the incredible partnership that Paul and I have built over decades of working together to grow Sunrise Produce. Our team is certain that this new relationship with Investcorp will allow us to continue to build on Sunrise’s exceptional foundation,” added Mr. Sapia.

Investcorp has a long history of investing across sectors with notable recent portfolio investments in food logistics and distribution including Fortune Fish & Gourmet, S&S Truck Parts, KSI Auto Parts, Arrowhead Engineered Products and Berlin Packaging.

“Fresh produce distribution is a highly fragmented, $70 billion national market that has consistently shown resiliency through economic cycles,” said Amit Gaind, Managing Director at Investcorp. “David and the Sunrise team have built a special, passionate culture that consistently thrills its customers with outstanding service. Their model and disciplined approach has propelled them to exceptional, industry-leading growth. We look forward to our partnership and to helping the Company accelerate its growth through geographic expansion and acquisitions.”