Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Three Bears Alaska (“Three Bears”), a family-owned retailer selling groceries, fuel, and other essential products, in its recapitalization by Westward Partners, a Seattle-based private equity firm that invests in leading Northwest companies.
Founded with one store in Tok, Alaska in 1980, Three Bears has grown over the past four decades to become one of Alaska’s largest family-owned retailers. Operating multiple store formats throughout Alaska and Montana, the Company has experienced significant growth over the past five years with a strong pipeline for continued expansion into underserved markets. The owners of Three Bears were interested in bringing on a financial partner to help facilitate future growth and provide liquidity to certain shareholders while maintaining a commitment to the Company’s historical mission. Furthermore, after the investment by Westward Partners, Three Bears Alaska remains majority owned by Alaskans.
Cascadia was engaged to find a partner for Three Bears that understood its growth potential and aligned with its core operating values. With our deep knowledge of the Alaskan market and a strong understanding of the drivers of value for multi-unit retailers, Cascadia recognized Three Bears’ unique position in the market and targeted investors, such as Westward Partners, who would appreciate and share a commitment to addressing community needs with fair pricing and quality service.
“Success in Alaska requires operational flexibility and exceptional market knowledge,” noted James Cartales, Managing Director in Cascadia Capital’s Consumer & Retail practice. “Three Bears Alaska is a best-in-class retailer with a unique competitive moat and Cascadia was pleased to help enable its next phase of growth. The Westward team brings a strong partnership approach, a track record in Alaska and were a pleasure to collaborate with throughout the transaction process as they worked hard to complete this transaction smoothly.”
“The Cascadia team understood our brand story, the Alaskan market and the unique challenges we face on a daily basis,” said Dave Weisz, President and CEO of Three Bears. “Cascadia effectively conveyed our value proposition, identified a new steward of the Three Bears brand and advised us through a successful transaction with mutually beneficial terms.”
The acquisition represents another successful multi-unit retail transaction for Cascadia. Past transactions include the sale of Northwest Motorsports, the sale of 2nd Ave Value Stores, and the growth equity financing of SkinSpirit. Additionally, Three Bears is also another Alaska-based client that we were pleased to support. Cascadia sees great opportunity in the Alaskan market across the various industry verticals we serve.
For more information about this transaction, please contact the Cascadia Capital deal team: