Fulham & Co. has sold F.R. Drake Co. to Middleby

Lincoln International, a leading global middle market investment bank, has announced that F.R. Drake Co., Inc. (“Drake”) has been sold to Middleby Corp. (“Middleby”). Drake was a portfolio company of Fulham & Co., a Wellesley Massachusetts-based private equity firm which invests in niche manufacturing companies.

Based in Waynesboro, Virginia, Drake is the global market leader in automatic loading systems for cylindrical food products, including frankfurters, sausages, corn dogs, cheese sticks, and pickles, with a powerful brand name widely recognized within the food equipment industry. Drake’s proprietary and innovative technologies are customized to each customer’s unique application, space and speed requirements leading to strong sales in worldwide markets. Middleby is a leading global manufacturer of commercial foodservice and food processing equipment and is based in Elgin, Illinois.

“We achieved much while working with our partners at Fulham & Co.,” said Stephen Nunn, President and CEO of Drake. “We look forward to a new era with our new partners at Middleby.”

Lincoln International acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Drake and Fulham & Co., working closely with the company’s management team and shareholders throughout the sale process. This included providing advisory expertise and managing the preparatory, marketing, due diligence and final negotiation phases of the transaction. Drake represents another successful Lincoln advisory assignment on behalf of Fulham, having previously assisted with the sale of Kerk Motion Products in 2008, and the second company Middleby has purchased in a Lincoln-led process, having previously acquired Alkar Rapid-Pak in 2005.

“We chose Lincoln as our advisor because of their broad experience in worldwide markets, and because they had demonstrated unique skill in 2008, during the sale of one of our largest portfolio companies,” said John Fulham, Managing Partner at Fulham & Co. “Lincoln’s expert advice throughout the process resulted in an attractive set of alternatives for both our investors and management.”

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