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Mills Fleet Farm chain sold to investment firm

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Mills Fleet Farm has new ownership. Global investment firm KKR announced Tuesday morning that it is acquiring Brainerd-based Mills Fleet Farm as the two companies entered into a definitive purchase agreement. Financial terms we...

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Global investment firm KKR announced it is acquiring Mills Fleet Farm and the two companies entered into a definitive purchase agreement. (BRAINERD DISPATCH)

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Mills Fleet Farm has new ownership.

Global investment firm KKR announced Tuesday morning that it is acquiring Brainerd-based Mills Fleet Farm as the two companies entered into a definitive purchase agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We have decided to partner with KKR in order to take Mills Fleet Farm to the next level of growth for the future," said co-presidents Henry Mills II and Stewart Mills, Jr. in a news release. "We took great care in our approach to finding the right partner who shared our values and would preserve the legacy the Mills family has built after serving the Midwest over the last 60 years. We truly believe KKR is the best fit for us organizationally and also the best fit for our employees."

Stewart Mills Sr., along with his sons, Henry Mills II and Stewart Mills Jr., founded Fleet Farm in 1955.

The company has 35 locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota, selling farm supplies, hardware and gear for the outdoors. It currently is constructing a store in Hermantown, its first location in the Northland.

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"We are proud to partner with Mills Fleet Farm, a highly differentiated brand in the Midwest, and invest behind its continued growth," said Nate Taylor, member of KKR's Private Equity team, in a news release. "In doing so, we remain committed to Mills Fleet Farm's founding values-and those shared by KKR-of honesty, integrity, hard work, service and loyalty to our customers and partners. We anticipate investing significantly in the business, adding infrastructure, stores and local jobs."

Hugh Leasum, a member of Mills Fleet Farm's executive management team, said, "Mills Fleet Farm has grown into the region's most trusted full-service retailer of everything you need for life, work, home and recreation. We are eager to work together with KKR and are confident this partnership will help us expand upon our already-unparalleled customer service and continue to best serve our local communities."

Closing of the transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Related Topics: HERMANTOWN
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