Davis Yung, president, CEO and co-founder of Fresh Direct Produce recently announced its acquisition by Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney and Company Inc. (HKW), a U.S. private equity firm.
“No one wants to be Blockbuster at the launch of Netflix,” says Yung. “If we are doing the same thing in the same way in 10 to 15 years, it won’t be fun. We have to do something different in the next five years to give us room to navigate in the future.”
Fresh Direct Produce is a Vancouver-based distributor of fresh, ethnic, tropical, organic, and specialty produce, serving western Canada. The company’s services include ripening, grading, machine packaging, bagging, and sourcing hard-to-find specialty fruits and vegetables. Since inception 15 years ago, the company has grown from its Vancouver distribution centre headquarters to include a repackaging and ripening facility in south Vancouver and a distribution centre in Calgary.
“After an exhaustive search for the right fit, the team is thrilled to partner with HKW,” said Yung. “We feel they are the best equipped to help us realize our future growth plans. We look forward to continuing to build our platform alongside an experienced Canadian investor in HKW.”
Yung told The Grower: “My role as president and CEO of the company has not changed. Along with my partners we continue to invest and hold a significant equity of Fresh Direct Produce. We believe with HKW’s professional management and acquisitions experience we can grow and expand much faster for the next five to 10 years. I am very excited for this next phase of growth and the learning that comes with it!”
Fresh Direct Produce is a platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Davis Yung is second vice-chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association.
Source: Private Equity Professional newsletter