BHS Foodservice Solutions, a fourth-generation business that sells equipment and supplies to the food-service industry, has acquired a New York City-based distributor as part of its push into the downstate market. A portfolio company of the private-equity firm Lorraine Capital, the former Buffalo Hotel Supply Co., acquired H. Weiss Inc. in a deal that closed last month.
The acquisition creates one of the country’s largest distributors of foodservice equipment and supplies, with combined annual revenues of $75 million and 120 employees, said Lorraine Capital founder and managing principal, Richard F. Gioia. BHS had 72 employees on its own, although its employment fluctuates seasonally.
“It gives us the size and scale to continue to be a competitive company,” Gioia said. “The Amherst-based company has been making inroads into downstate New York and a deal with H. Weiss Inc. was a natural fit.”
“H. Weiss Inc. is a market leader downstate and, given BHS’ historical focus in upstate, this acquisition expands our footprint across important market segments so that we can better serve our customers,” BHS President Donald M. Harvey said. “It is an exciting time for both companies.”
The selling shareholders of H. Weiss Inc. will remain with the company in leadership roles, Lorraine said, and all H. Weiss Inc. employees will remain with the company.
“We have been able to leverage the expertise and industry knowledge of the individuals that have the double digit tenure. But at the same time bringing in very progressive management groups that have other counts as far as supply chain management, purchasing supplier relationship management and the customer relationship management,” Harvey added.
BHS has grown significantly since Lorraine Capital purchased Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. in December 2014, Gioia said. BHS in January 2016 acquired Innovative Restaurant
Supply, a distributor based in a Rochester suburb.
BHS was the first acquisition for the Buffalo private equity firm, which seeks to buy companies that might otherwise have trouble raising capital and that may not have a succession plan in place to survive past the current generation of leadership.
Lorraine has made six acquisitions in total now, including the two made through its portfolio company BHS. In addition to Gioia, the other Lorraine partners are William J. Maggio Jr., Justin Reich and Tony Rider.
H. Weiss Inc. is led by the trio of Elizabeth Weiss, Jeff Dellon and Jim Weiss. The firm has earned the reputation of being the leader in the New York Metropolitan area in food service equipment and supplies. It has a long history of servicing the hospitality industry which dates back to the early 1900’s when family matriarch Rose Richmond sold stoves in Yonkers, New York.