Carl Marks Advisors was engaged by one of the top 10 cooperative food distributors in the U.S., with annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion. The Company distributed food and non-food products, including private-label products, to nearly 500 customers and employed more than 2,200 people in multiple distribution centers in several mid-Atlantic U.S. states. The Company had sought to expand distribution coverage into the New York City Metropolitan area through the acquisition of a New Jersey based independent (not a cooperative entity structure) wholesale food distributor. The New Jersey division’s revenues represented approximately half of the Company’s $2.5 billion combined annual sales. However, the expected synergies and cost benefits of this acquisition were never fully realized. The failed integration led to a substantial loss of customers and revenue over the subsequent three year period as the distinctly different customer philosophies and leadership cultures clashed.
Due to the team’s extensive experience and successful track record working with organizations in the grocery, retail, and consumer products sectors, Carl Marks Advisors was initially engaged as a financial advisor to assess the impact of a revised supply agreement with a major customer. As the business issues of the Company became more evident, Carl Marks Advisors’ role grew to include serving as Chief Restructuring Advisor to lead the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and 363 auction processes.