Haggen, owner of Top Food and Drug, announces investment partnership

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Bellingham-based grocery company which owns and operates 30 Haggen and Top Food and Drug stores including the ones in Shoreline and Edmonds, says they will remain independent, in spite of selling a majority ownership to the Comvest Group, a private investment firm.

Don and Rick Haggen are the sons of Ben and Dorothy Haggen, who founded the Bellingham, Washington-based grocery company in 1933. They most recently served as co-chairmen of the company’s board.

“The Comvest Group’s investment in Haggen will maximize our potential and allow us to strengthen our market share in the highly competitive grocery industry,” Don Haggen said. “We are looking forward to serving our customers and remaining closely connected to our community for another 78 years.”

The Haggen family is retaining a significant minority ownership stake in the company and will continue to be involved in the company.

Comvest is a private investment firm focused on providing equity and debt capital to lower middle-market companies, including Allegiant Air. Since 1988, Comvest has invested more than $2 billion of capital in over 200 public and private companies worldwide.

The Haggen management team will remain in place with the exception of CEO and President Jim Donald, who is stepping down, but will continue to serve as an advisor to the company. Donald has led the company since October 2009.

Clarence J. Gabriel has been named President and CEO of the company. Gabriel has over 25 years of senior leadership success in the consumer retail, supply chain management and manufacturing sectors. He has served in senior positions at several companies, including Albertsons and Pepsi-Cola North America.

Gabriel added that the company’s headquarters will remain in Bellingham.

Headquartered in Bellingham, Haggen is the largest independent grocer and sixth-largest private company based in the State of Washington.

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