TORONTO-Well-known open air commercial refrigerated showcases company, MTL COOL, has been acquired by Due North (DueNorth.com), the newly created operating company of QBD and Minus Forty. This strategic acquisition allows Due North to further diversify and complement its multiple-product lineup. It also positions the company to serve an ever-changing retailer and food and beverage market. The unification of brands under Due North will solidify their evolution by offering a growing portfolio of innovative products and services to their customers.
“With these three brands operating under Due North, our business is well positioned with both high-quality merchandising products and services. We now have the product reach to become the preferred choice for food and beverage brands and retailers. Our recent announcement of the creation of Due North (see press release) reinforces industry confidence in our long-term plan to deliver advanced refrigeration solutions that provide value to our customers,” said Troy Shannan, CEO of Due North. “We are committed to using all our resources and status to boost both our brand and the sales of the industries we serve.”
MTL Cool revenues in fiscal 2022 were C$30 million ($22.5 million). The combined group has annual revenue of C$200 million ($150 million), with sales growing some 25 percent annually.
Under Due North, MTL COOL will continue to offer best-in-class products which includes inline horizontal open-air coolers, horizontal sliding glass lid coolers & freezers, vertical open-air coolers and endcap solutions. Through the interconnected and collaborative Due North approach, retailers and food-centric brands will be able to create superior brand experiences that align with their retail strategies and are relevant to consumers. Due North customers are now poised to advance their competitive advantage and their merchandising of products. Due North’s expanded suite of display coolers is intended to maximize the sales of its customers while simplifying their refrigerated retail merchandising programs.
“With our team of highly experienced and passionate professionals, and a focus on the highest level of quality standards and product evolution, Due North companies have a demonstrated track record helping customers scale and grow their business,” says Julian Attree, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of Due North. “We are well positioned to deliver on our promise of building long-term customer relationships as we help provide unforgettable retail brand experiences for consumers.”
“We are recognized as a leading manufacturer of customized refrigeration systems for the North American food and beverage retail industry, serving small businesses and large national brands,” says Mark Bedard, President of MTL COOL. “We’re excited to become part of a powerful combination of brands under Due North. Combining our forces will lead to more opportunities for innovation and sharing of industry expertise and best practices, enriching our service offering and deepening customer relationships.” Due North supports customers in retail segments including beverage, ice cream, pet food, vending, grocery, food service, convenience, QSR, pharmacy and more.
Due North was formed in 2021 by Ronin Equity Partners, which simultaneously acquired and merged QBD and Minus Forty into a platform for consolidation in the fragmented North American refrigerated display case industry. Some 60 percent of the industry is divided between over one hundred family-owned businesses. Due North is the #2 player in the North American refrigerated display market by sales and is looking at multiple acquisitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.
About Due North
Due North creates refrigerated, retail merchandising solutions that maximize our customers’ success. The company was rebranded in 2022 and combines long-standing retail refrigeration companies QBD, Minus Forty and MTL COOL into one organization.
About Ronin Equity Partners
Based in New York City, Ronin Equity Partners represents a new type of investment firm, powered by an operationally focused value creation strategy. Ronin makes control equity investments exclusively in the Industrial and Consumer sectors, where the team has prior expertise. The group buys strong businesses with high demonstrated cash flows, where Ronin’s operating playbook adds value. The Ronin team embeds into each company as interim senior executives to build a robust back-office infrastructure capable of scaling the business for growth and seamlessly integrating acquisitions. This partnership empowers management to focus entirely on growing the business without being burdened by back-office operations. The firm was founded in 2019 by Managing Partners David Feierstein and Jesse Yao alongside other former senior executives from Kraft Heinz, NCR, and Diversey. The firm is supported by over thirty operating advisors in the consumer and industrials sectors. www.roninequitypartners.com