Tracing its roots back to 1972, Golden Country Oriental Food, LLC and Golden Ocean Seafood, Inc. (collectively, “Golden Country” or “the Company”) is one of the largest wholesale importers and distributors of dry, refrigerated, and frozen Asian, African and Caribbean food products in the Midwest. The Company first opened a small store in Chinatown, Chicago, focused on selling Chinese sausages and Chinese barbeque before entering the wholesale business, eventually scaling the organization, and becoming one of the most prominent distributors in the Midwest. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, today, the Company serves a highly diverse base of regional and international grocery stores, wholesalers, foodservice providers, manufacturers, and restaurants.
Golden Country has long been an exceptionally well-run family-owned business, led today by Sidney Lee, a second-generation operator. Over the last several years, the Company experienced transformative growth through a combination of new customer wins, growing customer penetration, the ability to leverage long standing vendor relationships, and a nimble response to pandemic dynamics. To propel the Company into its next phase of growth, the Lee family sought a partner with the expertise to further scale the operation and recapitalizing the business.
G2 Capital Advisors, LLC (“G2”) was engaged by Golden Country as its exclusive financial advisor based on a long-standing history of supporting the unique needs of a family-owned business pursuing a financial partnership. G2 led a highly competitive, strategic, and efficient marketing process focused on identifying the right partner with relevant industry and operational expertise to both develop and execute on continued growth for the Company.
In August 2022, the transaction was successfully executed through an investment from HKW , a middle-market private equity firm focused on growth-oriented companies. Sidney Lee, CEO of Golden Country, will continue to lead the Company, leveraging HKW’s operational expertise and capital to pursue a mutual vision for the next phase of the Company’s growth.
“Golden Country is an exceptional example of G2’s strategy to partner with differentiated, market-leading organizations. The exciting partnership with HKW will offer the Company additional resources to execute on a shared path for growth. It was an honor to work with Sidney and to have helped his family achieve such a successful outcome!” said Ben Wright, G2 Chief Operating Officer.
Sidney Lee shared “We felt extremely fortunate to partner with the diligent and professional team at G2. They helped us navigate a robust process and traversed complex challenges with grace. We are incredibly pleased with the outcome for all family members and are excited about unlocking the next phase of growth with our partner, HKW.”
“The Lee family has built a highly specialized distribution business that offers a unique value proposition for customers,” said John Carsello, HKW Partner. “Sidney Lee embodies what HKW looks for in a CEO, and we are excited to partner with Sidney and his management team to drive incremental growth.”