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New York company acquires Jax Ice House America

Ulysses Management, LLC, a New York-based investment firm, has completed its acquisition of Jacksonville-based Ice House America, LLC (www.icehouseamerica.com) 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,” said Ulysses Managing Director Paul D. Barnett. “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,” said Ice House America Chairman Bob Alligood. 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, Georgia, and also owns and operates a growing fleet of ice vending machines in company-owned territories including the majority of Florida, California, and Arizona. The company will continue manufacturing Ice House vending machines at its Moultrie plant.

“At Ulysses, 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,” said Barnett. “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 freestanding ice machines that produce, store, bag, and vend fresh ice on demand, providing consumers worldwide with a better ice product, at a lower cost. 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.

Alligood will continue to serve as chairperson 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.


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