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MBE Case Studies

Sterling Foods Ltd.

Portfolio Company Benefits from ICV’s MBE Supplier Relationships

  • Leading manufacturer of shelf-stable, frozen and fresh baked goods sold to military, commercial and educational markets
  • Large established company that could easily take on new business
  • Darden Restaurants Relationship
    • In 2002, met Darden through Supplier Diversity Manager
    • In 2003, Darden experiences a problem with its existing bakery supplier and asked if Sterling was interested and capable
    • ICV committed $1 million to build a Darden facility within Sterling’s plant
    • Within 24 months, Sterling Foods received Supplier-of-the-Year Award from Darden for its product quality, consistency and delivery
    • The Darden relationship has generated significant incremental revenue
  • Since ICV purchased the Company, Sterling successfully:
    • Grew revenues by 161% in seven years
    • Grew employee base by nearly 100 people
    • Invested over $15 million of capital to increase production assets to diversify the business
    • Completed an add-on acquisition of a leading baked goods company, Buena Vista Food Products Inc


Entertainment Cruises
Portfolio Company Benefits from ICV’s MBE Supplier Relationships
Purchase of a Non-Core Division

  • Entertainment Cruises is the largest operator of dinner cruises in the U.S.
    • Operates 24 vessels under the brands Spirit, Odyssey, Mystic Blue, SeaDog, Elite and Bateaux in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Norfolk, VA
    • Serves various customer groups: corporate, conventions, education, social/civic, tour and travel, trade associations, anniversaries and weddings providing passengers with both adventure and fine dining
  • Sodexo Divestiture
    • In 2005, Sodexo decided to sell its dinner cruise business because it was non-core to its operations
    • In 2006, because an ICV portfolio company was already in the business, ICV was selected on a preferred basis as the buyer, creating a large scale MBE company
  • Since partnering with ICV, the Company has:
    • Grown revenues by 230% and more than doubled EBITDA
    • Significantly expanded its ethnic minority work force through the acquisition of Spirit Cruises
    • Hired a seasoned minority board member from the hospitality industry
    • Expanded from 3 markets to 7, becoming the acquirer of choice in the industry


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