In early 1993, Endeavour met with a Portland, Ore.-based, 70-year-old family business in the beverage-distribution industry. The current generation of family owners had different goals for life and business than the two previous generations.
At the time, the industry was highly fragmented and in the beginning stages of consolidation. There was significant potential to grow the company through brand and business acquisitions, and to expand geographically if the right capital, partners and management could be assembled to pursue the strategy. The region was growing and there was no one dominant player.
Endeavour and one of the family owners decided to combine forces to lead the consolidation of diversified beverage distribution in the Northwest. To be successful, we needed to hold the advantage in systems, logistics, operations, beverage suppliers and grocery/retail outlets, develop a technology roadmap and build a management team to keep up with growth.
Over 17 years, between 1993 and 2010, we added board talent, recruited several senior managers and countless mid-level managers, and acquired over a dozen distributors in Oregon, as well as throughout Washington State. We also pioneered a stock incentive program in order to align interests with management and attract the best talent to lead the growth.
The board, management and Endeavour were approached in 2010 and decided to sell the business. Working together, we had grown it into one of the largest diversified beverage distributors in the U.S. as measured by sales, case volumes, employees and earnings.
Earnings for the business increased thirty-fold since the formation of the partnership, creating significant value: not only for Endeavour and the original owners, but for dozens of members of the management team as well.