Chattanooga, Tennessee – Decosimo Corporate Finance, LLC (“DCF”) is pleased to announce the sale of the assets of Carter Distributing Company to Cherokee Distributing Company. DCF served as the exclusive sell-side advisor for Carter.
Carter is one of Chattanooga region’s largest beer distributors whose flagship brands include Miller, Corona and Coors.
It was time to sell, said Blair Carter, Carter Distributing Co.’s owner, chief operating officer and son of the founder, Bill “Beer Bill” Carter. Blair Carter has worked at Carter Distributing Co. for 43 years. He was 19 when he started in 1974.
“I’ve done it long enough. And I’m still young enough to where my wife and I can enjoy [retirement],” said Carter, 62. “I’m very happy.”
The addition expands Cherokee Distributing Co.’s service area into Chattanooga and from 53 to 61 counties in Tennessee.
“Our companies share similar histories,” Cherokee Distributing Co. President George Sampson said in a statement. “Both [are] Miller-Coors distributors and family-owned businesses. Cherokee Distributing was founded in 1958, and Carter was formed in 1959.”
Carter Distributing Co. got its start in 1959 distributing products from two breweries, Miller High Life and Black Label, and has evolved over the years. Today, it distributes some 2,500 “packages” of different beverages from 51 suppliers.
Craft beer — including locally brewed beer — is a growing segment for Carter Distributing, which employs some 70 people and distributes about 1.9 million cases of beer annually from its 100,000-square-foot warehouse, along with a relatively small amount of wine and liquor, which was a new market for Carter.
“DCF has had the privilege of working with Blair and Mr. Bill Carter for years. We are honored to have played the role of representing Carter Distributing in this transaction for Blair and the Carter Family.” said Tom Decosimo, DCF Managing Partner. “Blair Carter has been immersed in the beer distribution business his entire adult life and has successfully led the Company through tremendous growth, consolidation and the introduction of craft beers.”
Blair Carter said “I am grateful to Tom and the DCF team in leading us through this incredibly important transaction. Their knowledge of the sell-side process combined with their understanding of business valuation, accounting, tax, and estate issues worked together to maximize the value of Carter Distributing.”