Incline Acquires Starwest Botanicals

Incline Equity Partners has acquired Starwest Botanicals, a distributor of organic botanicals, herbs and spices to specialty retailers, manufacturers and e-commerce sellers.

Starwest stocks more than one million pounds and 3,000 SKUs of herbs and spices. The company sells to more than 10,000 customers and, according to the company, it is one of the largest suppliers of organic herbs in the United States.

Sacramento, California-based Starwest was founded in 1975 by Van Joerger and has more than 150,000 sq. ft. of warehouse and production space.

“Incline has an impressive track record of successfully partnering with founder-owned distribution businesses,” said Mr. Joerger. “With their expertise, we will accelerate growth through strategic investments in marketing and channel management, accretive acquisitions and infrastructure and technology that will improve operational performance.”

“Starwest has a strong customer value proposition from their global supply chain, wide breadth of products and strong processing and quality control capabilities,” said Justin Bertram, a senior partner with Incline. “Their impressive track record of long-term, profitable growth is driven from their diversified and fragmented customer base that caters to consumer staple end markets. We are excited to partner with Van and the management team to support the next phase of growth.”

Twin Brook Capital Partners served as administrative agent on debt financing to support Incline’s acquisition of Starwest. Chicago-based Twin Brook focuses on loans to private equity-owned companies with EBITDA between $3 million and $50 million, with an emphasis on companies with $25 million of EBITDA and below. The firm targets senior financing opportunities up to $200 million, with hold sizes across the platform ranging from $25 million up to $150 million. Twin Brook’s products include opportunistic investments in second lien, mezzanine, and equity co-investments.

Pittsburgh-based Incline Equity was formed in 2011 and is led by its senior partners, Jack Glover, Justin Bertram, and Leon Rubinov. In January 2020, Incline closed its fifth fund, Incline Equity Partners V LP, with nearly $1.2 billion of capital. Incline generally invests in growing companies with enterprise values of $25 million to $450 million.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | June 8, 2021