Moultrie Observer

Local News

March 29, 2011

New York firm buys Ice House America

MOULTRIE — Ulysses Management, LLC, a New York-based investment firm, announced Monday it has completed its acquisition of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Ice House America, LLC, and its affiliated companies through a controlled investment vehicle, Twice the Ice Holdings, LLC. Ice House America is the leading manufacturer of ice vending machines in the United States and markets under the brand Twice the Ice.

Ice House manufactures patent-protected ice vending machines that automatically dispense cubed or chipped ice in approximately eight seconds. The ice is made on-demand, with less waste and potential contamination than bagged ice manufactured at a central ice plant and trucked to retail stores.

The company manufactures both larger ice vending machines and huts and smaller mini ice vending machines, comparable in size to soda vending machines, for use at grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and drugstores.

“Ulysses is attracted to companies with defensible, proven business models, motivated management teams, and deep customer relationships,” Ulysses Managing Director Paul D. Barnett said. “Our acquisition provides Ice House America with significant capital and resources for further innovation and expansion.”

“I'm proud of what we've accomplished at Ice House,” Ice House America Chairman Bob Alligood said. “Ulysses’ extensive experience and success in building businesses makes it an ideal partner for us. We're excited bringing continued innovation to the retail ice industry and the opportunities it will create for our company.”

Since its founding in 2003, Ice House America has manufactured and sold more than 2,000 ice vending machines to owner-operators through its independent dealer network. The company has a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Moultrie and has active or pending dealerships in 26 states in the U.S., Caribbean, Australia, Brazil, and Nigeria and also controls a fleet of company-owned units in controlled territories, including the majority of Florida, California and Arizona. The company will continue manufacturing Ice House vending machines at its Moultrie plant.

“At Ulysses,” Barnett said, “we seek to acquire established recurring revenue models with stable free cash flow. We believe there is an attractive opportunity to introduce a far greater number of company-owned units into company territories to improve consumers' choices when it comes to purchasing packaged ice. We look forward to building on Bob's pioneering vision and to working closely with the Ice House management team, its employees, and its dealers to enhance the company's value.”

Ice House America pioneered the production and sale of packaged ice through free-standing ice machines that produce, store, bag and vend fresh ice on demand. Ice House is transforming the $2.5 billion U.S. packaged ice industry by producing ice at the point of sale providing a more cost-effective, superior product than the traditional direct store delivery pre-made bagged ice trucked from a central ice plant, according to a company press release.

Alligood will continue to serve as chairman of the Ice House Board of Managers. He, along with the company founders, are investing in the transaction alongside Ulysses.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank provided debt capital in support of the acquisition and additional undrawn credit facilities to support the company's future growth.

For more information about Ice House America, please visit www.icehouseamerica.com.

Ulysses is a diversified investment firm based in New York City with over $1 billion in capital under management. It primarily makes control investments, typically in growing middle market companies in a variety of industries.

For further information about Ulysses, please visit www.ulyssesmgmt.com.

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