Ronin Equity Partners acquires Minus Forty and QBD, consolidating the refrigerated display sector

Sept. 9, 2021

New York City-based Ronin Equity Partners announced that is has acquired two leading North American manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment, QBD and Minus Forty, both located in in the Toronto area. The brands will continue to be marketed under their own names, Ronin said, but the merged group will be a platform for consolidation in the fragmented refrigerated display case industry, where 60% of the market is divided among a 100-plus family-owned businesses.

The price of the purchases was not disclosed, but the transactions is said to have an enterprise value of $230 million. And with the simultaneous purchases, Ronin has invested or reserved for follow-on portfolio investment some $300 million, which includes all the capital raised for its inaugural fund, as well as all co-investments.

In addition to being the industry’s largest provider of pet food coolers, Minus Forty has developed product presentation coolers and freezers for the micro market and foodservice industries that are enhanced by IoT smart technology. QBD is a leader in beverage cooler sales and high-concept, cost-efficient, and customized refrigerated displays. QBD uses state-of-the art EPA-certified Energy Star products and environmentally friendly natural refrigerants.

"This deal expands our reach into new sectors, it widens the use of our green cooling deck design, and allows us to leverage Minus Forty’s internet of things technology to reinforce our position in the beverage sector,” said QBD president Safder Jaffer.

Minus Forty cofounder Julian Attree added, “The expanded group will double manufacturing capacity, allow us to expand our unbeatable value proposition, and combines cutting-edge, complementary technologies to create a fantastic platform for buy-and-build acquisitions."

Both Attree and Jaffer will be actively involved in the combined business, Ronin said. One of Ronin’s managing partners, Jesse Yao, will become chief financial officer, and two other Ronin executives will hold senior roles.

The group’s new chief executive will be Ronin operating advisor Troy Shannan, who comes from Nonni’s Foods, where he was executive vice president in charge of supply chain and manufacturing. Prior to that, Shannan ran global operations and supply chain at Kraft Heinz.

“The Minus Forty and QBD teams will create a powerhouse in commercial refrigeration, with technologies and expertise that will usher in an era of energy efficiency, high concept design and innovation in a sector that’s growing six percent annually,” says Ronin Chief Investment Officer Ike Helene.

The merged group are reportedly looking at other acquisitions in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.


Mike Ferguson is owner of VMAC Solutions LLC, a brokerage firm serving buyers and sellers of vending, micro market and office coffee service businesses.

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