US-based speciality and fresh food products distributor KeHE has received a strategic investment from international investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners.

Financial details of the investment have not been divulged.

This investment has seen the replacement of a longtime minority shareholder.

KeHE president and CEO Brandon Barnholt said: “We have been very deliberate in selecting a partner that believes in our mission and values, as well as our strategic vision to be the next generation distributor in speciality, natural & organic and fresh foods.

“This arrangement allows KeHE to maintain our majority employee stock ownership (ESOP) ownership structure while securing the infusion of capital we need to power our growth initiatives.”

TowerBrook has committed additional capital for future growth.

KeHE has expertise in introducing new and emerging brands to market and has a national distribution network in the US and Canada.

TowerBrook managing director Michael Recht said: “KeHE has significant scale, a differentiated supply chain and an experienced leadership team with both a strong track record and a compelling vision for the future of food distribution.

“We are pleased to partner with KeHE to help drive continued momentum and growth in the business.”

In 2016, KeHE became the first food distributor to earn the B Corporation certification credential. TowerBrook recently became the first mainstream private equity firm to earn its B Corporation certification.

For this transaction, BMO Capital Markets served as the exclusive financial advisor to KeHE, while Winston & Strawn provided legal guidance to complete the agreement.

In April 2017, KeHE opened a distribution centre in Douglasville in Atlanta, Georgia.