The Boelter Companies acquires restaurant equipment company

Premier Restaurant Equipment Co. to join Waukesha firm


Waukesha-based The Boelter Companies Inc. has acquired Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Premier Restaurant Equipment Co.

The terms of the transaction, which closed Thursday, were not disclosed. Premier was sold by Minneapolis private equity firm Hillcrest Capital Partners, which acquired the company in 2012.

Premier, founded in 1989 by Jim Hara and Gary Zechmeister, designs, supplies and installs foodservice equipment for the hospitality industry. The company has 28 employees, substantially all of whom will be retained in the acquisition, said Eric Boelter, president of Boelter’s foodservice division. Hara will stay on in his current role.

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The Boelter Companies designs and supplies foodservice equipment to U.S. dealers. It was founded in 1929 and has more than 500 employees at offices in seven states, including Minnesota.

Boelter plans to consolidate its Minnesota operations into Premier’s 50,000-square-foot Minneapolis facility in the fall, Boelter said. There are 18 Boelter employees in Minneapolis, who are currently working in a 15,000-square-foot facility. The firm will operate as Boelter Premier in the Minnesota market.

“It deepens our bench and it enhances our ability to reach that market,” Boelter said. “Premier is to the Minneapolis area, Minnesota, as Boelter is here in Wisconsin.”

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The acquisition allows both companies to offer additional design and project management resources to those opening restaurants or commercial facilities, the companies said in a release. Boelter has a fairly large resupply business that provides additional foodservice equipment such as pots and cups, Boelter said.

“We’ll be able to penetrate premier accounts with that added business,” he said.

“We have a great team of seasoned and talented professionals,” Hara said. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to join a market leading company with a strong national presence. Boelter will enhance our ability to operate nationally, expand our product offerings, and offer more resources to help us provide the level of expertise and project execution our customers rely on.”

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