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Imperial Dade to be Acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity

May 1, 2019

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JERSEY CITY, NJ, May 1, 2019 – Imperial Dade, a leading distributor of disposable food service and janitorial supplies in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Bain Capital Private Equity to acquire a majority stake in the company.  Imperial Dade will continue to be led by its current management team, who will remain significant investors in the company.  Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1935, Imperial Dade serves more than 40,000 customers through a footprint of 27 branches operating in 13 states, and has a growing a network of strategically located distribution centers with over 620 fleet vehicles.  The company has grown both organically and by acquisition to become a leader in the disposable food service and janitorial supplies industry.  Audax Private Equity, the company’s investment partner since 2016, will retain a stake in the company. 
“We are pleased to welcome an experienced investment partner who shares our vision for building Imperial Dade into a national distributor of foodservice and janitorial supplies, and who will support our efforts to seize the many opportunities we see in the marketplace,” said Robert Tillis, Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Dade.  “With Bain Capital’s extensive resources and experience with industrial distribution businesses, we are excited to drive our next phase of growth and continue to strengthen our value proposition and service offering,” said Jason Tillis, President of Imperial Dade. 

Bain Capital Private Equity has deep experience in the services and industrial sectors, having made investments in a wide range of businesses including Apex Tool Group, ASIMCO, ATW, Autodistribution, Consolidated Container, Dealer Tire, Diversey, European FinTyre Distribution, HD Supply, MSX International, Sensata Technologies, TI Fluid Systems Ltd. and Trinseo.  

“Imperial Dade is a proven winner. Over the past 12 years, the Tillis Family has done an exceptional job of building a structurally advantaged market leader,” said Ken Hanau, a Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity.  “We look forward to partnering with this talented management team to accelerate their acquisition strategy, build on their foundation of commercial and operating excellence, and ultimately create a best in class distribution business with national reach.” 

“During our partnership, the Imperial Dade team executed an aggressive Buy & Build strategy,” said Don Bramley, Managing Director, Audax Group.  “The company completed 13 acqusitions, expanding the geographical footprint, broading its product and service offerings, and driving organic growth while maintaining its culture and differentiated service quality. We wish Robert, Jason, and the rest of the Imperial Dade management team continued success in their partnership with Bain Capital and look forward to remaining invested in the business.”  

The transaction is supported by fully committed debt financing.  It is expected to close during the second quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Harris Williams is serving as M&A advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal advisor to Imperial Dade.  Credit Suisse, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs & Co. are serving as financial advisors, Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel, and PwC as accounting advisor to Bain Capital Private Equity.
About Imperial Dade
Founded in 1935, Imperial Dade is a leading distributor of disposable food service and janitorial supplies in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and Midwest regions and Puerto Rico. Since CEO Robert Tillis and President Jason Tillis assumed their roles in 2007, the company has grown both organically and through acquisitions to become a leader in the disposable food service and janitorial supplies industry. For additional information, please visit
About Bain Capital Private Equity
Bain Capital Private Equity ( has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since its founding in 1984. Bain Capital Private Equity’s global team of approximately 240 investment professionals creates value for its portfolio companies through its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial and business services, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. Bain Capital has 19 offices on four continents. The firm has made primary or add-on investments in more than 760 companies since its inception. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, public equity venture capital and real estate, managing approximately $105 billion in total and leveraging the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.

About Audax Private Equity
Audax Group is a leading alternative investment manager with offices in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has raised over $24 billion in capital across its Private Equity and Private Debt businesses. Audax Private Equity has invested over $5 billion in more than 120 platforms and 760 add-on companies. Through its disciplined Buy & Build approach, Audax seeks to help platform companies execute add-on acquisitions that fuel revenue growth, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. With more than 240 employees and over 100 investment professionals, the firm is a leading capital partner for North American middle market companies. For more information, visit the Audax Group website