Proving that size (or lack thereof) is no obstacle to the relentless march of private equity, Chicago’s best known and among its largest liquor stores, Sam’s Wines, sold 80% of itself to Chicago-based private equity company, Arbor Investments.
A disagreement about strategic direction between the two brothers who were the third generation of the Rosen family to own Sam's caused the sale. The brothers tried to sell in 1998, but the deal fell though. Sam’s, with $65 million of annual sales, would not be a typical target for a private equity firm because of its relatively small size. Arbor is one of the few firms that specializes in private buy outs in the beverage industry.