Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

June 17, 2011

LP Shanks sold to Amcon

CROSSVILLE — The L.P. Shanks Co., founded in 1916 by Luke Shanks in Crossville, has been sold to Amcon Distributing Co. of Omaha, NE.

"I feel really good about this company and what they are going to do in Crossville," said Scot Shanks, grandson of Luke Shanks and the third-generation to lead the company. "Even though they are a publicly held company, they're very family oriented."

L.P. Shanks Company is a wholesale grocery supplier. It's main office in in Crossville, but the business serves seven states. Amcon's closest distribution center is in Illinois. Crossville is Amcon's sixth distribution center.

"They are looking to expand what we're doing here," Shanks told the Chronicle. "They are a larger company with better resources and they've got the ability to expand."

According to a report in Vending Market Watch, Amcon acquired L.P. Shanks Co. for $16.4 million. Amcon funded the purchase through its expanded credit facility with its existing bank group.

The purchase will increase Amcon's presence in the Southeast, adding about 700 retailers and about $200 million in annual sales to Amcon's consumer products distribution business. Shanks said the acquisition takes Amcon to more than $1 billion in annual sales.

Christopher H. Atayan, Amcon’s chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement, “This acquisition will substantially expand our presence in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. We have been carefully studying this region for several years. In the process of conducting our market research, we found that the strategy espoused by the management team at L.P. Shanks closely mirrored our strategy of providing high levels of customer service and developing long-term customer relationships."

The purchase will add a full-service wholesale branch in Crossville and supplemental branches in Bristol and Murfreesboro.

Shanks said, "We've got a good employee base and a lot of long-time employees. I feel confident this is a good change. Whenever there are changes, people are concerned, but Amcon has a long-term lease on our building and I"m certain they'll be here for years to come. I think they will succeed and do very well here. I've been very impressed with how they operate."

Shanks said he had agreed to stay with the company for up to six months during the transition. After that, he's not sure what the future holds but he plans to become more active with organizations he is already a part of.

Amcon is a wholesale distributor of consumer products including beverages, candy, tobacco, groceries, food service, frozen and chilled foods and health and beauty care products with locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee.


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