July 12, 2007, 12:00 AM

Sun Capital acquires Hickory Farms

Sun Capital, which on Monday purchased Limited Stores from Limited Brands Inc., is adding Hickory Farms Inc. to its growing portfolio of specialized retailers.

With its acquisition of Hickory Farms Inc., Sun Capital Partners Inc. continues to add to its portfolio of specialized retail and e-commerce companies.

On Wednesday, Sun Capital announced the purchase of Hickory Farms, No. 222 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, for an undisclosed amount from Jupiter Partners, a New York private investment group.

Sun Capital, which on Monday also purchased Limited Stores from Limited Brands Inc., No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide for an undisclosed sum, offered few details on the acquisition of Hickory Farms. But the purchase fits with Sun Capital’s strategy of acquiring specialized retailers with established brands. “Hickory Farms is a premium consumer brand with strong appeal to a broad cross section of U. S. consumers,” says Sun Capital vice president Scott W. Edwards.

Hickory Farms, which sells beef, cheese, chocolates, desserts, fresh fruits, nuts, seafood and other specialty items online and through a catalog, through other merchants and at kiosks in more than 600 shopping malls, generates about 240,000 unique visitors to its web site per month, according to comScore Networks Inc.

Hickory Farms will use financial resources from Sun Capital to grow its direct marketing and retail base. “This transaction represents an opportunity for Hickory Farms to partner with a financial sponsor with deep operating experience in retail, grocery, and food sectors and one that shares our vision for accelerated growth,” says Hickory Farms CEO John J. Langdon.

Sun Capital, a private investment firm headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, in the last two years has acquired other well known retail and catalog firms such as Lillian Vernon Corp., No. 59 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and Edwin Watts Golf Shops.

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