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Private investor acquires Carlo Masi Produce

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March 15, 2023 — Venture 7 Advisors, a Burlington-based merger and acquisition advisory firm, announced the successful sale of produce and food distributor Carlo Masi Sons and Daughter BB #:104295 of Utica, New York to private investor Samuel DiSalvo.

The details of the transaction were not disclosed. Venture 7 served as the exclusive financial advisor to the Masi family in the transaction. To avoid confusion during the process, the seller and buyer agreed to be called Sam and Samuel.

The Company was founded in 1958 by Carlo and Elizabeth Masi, selling produce out of their garage to local stores and foodservice customers. Until the recent sale, the business was owned by four of Carlo and Elizabeth’s seven children.

Sam the seller says:
“I honestly didn’t have the ‘oomph’ any more to make the big changes in the business. I decided to find a buyer with the drive to make things happen. But this business is in my blood, and I hoped I could stick around to do the things I know and love, but on a reduced schedule. And that’s exactly what happened. I also added a significant cushion to my retirement fund!

“Anybody who thinks they can do a ’for sale by owner’ business sale is just wrong. There were so many ins and outs, so many problems that popped up that Venture 7 ironed out. There’s so much specific expertise required, so no way could we have done it on our own. The combination of rising interest rates and the hesitation in the overall business environment might have lowered our “take”, but we’re 100% satisfied with the way Venture 7 managed the process.”

Samuel the new owner says:
I always wanted to own a business myself, but my career went in different directions. When I reached a certain age and my kids were grown, I decided that the time was right to pursue that dream. I came across a notice from Venture 7 about an unnamed grocery distributor “in Central New York” which sounded like the kind of thing I was looking for, and it wasn’t far from Rochester where I was living.

Once we negotiated the sale terms, there was a long and very detailed due diligence process. Meanwhile interest rates were rising, which complicated financing and the schedule slipped into the fourth quarter of 2022 when everybody was jammed up – the lawyers on both sides, the bank, accountants, etc. We finally closed the deal on December 30, 2022. It’s going very well! The company has been firing on all cylinders all along, and that has continued since I arrived.

I can honestly say that the guys at Venture 7 have been fantastic. We were on opposite sides of the table, and they did a really good job representing their client and negotiating for them. The way Bryan and Scott ushered the deal through a lot of ups and downs was amazing. I respect their attention to detail, and it was obvious that they’ve been through this many times.

About Venture 7 Advisors:
Venture 7 Advisors is a merger & acquisition advisory and business consulting firm that assists clients with strategic and operational change. It is run by entrepreneurs who have started, grown, and successfully sold their own companies (several times).

About Carlo Masi Produce
Carlo Masi Sons & Daughter (now doing business as “Carlo Masi Produce”) distributes a complete line of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with dairy, meats and paper products to restaurants, schools, institutions and retail stores in central New York State.

Larry Chernicoff
Partner, Venture 7 Advisors
(413) 717-0909