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Kentucky Retailer Blue Equity Acquires The DEP’s Retail Chain

June 1, 2020

Louisville, Kentucky-based private equity firm Blue Equity LLC has completed the purchase of DEP’s Fine Wine & Spirits, a three-unit retailer operating in northern Kentucky, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition brings Blue Equity’s total number of liquor retail locations to 20—including 15 Liquor Barn stores and two Party Mart stores, all in Kentucky.

“DEP’s is a prominent chain that’s been in business for many, many years, and everybody knows them,” said Blue Equity chairman Jonathan Blue, commenting on the deal.

The acquisition “checked all the boxes,” Blue added, noting that DEP’s strong consumer base, multiple stores, and northern Kentucky location fit his business goals. Blue Equity’s Liquor Barn locations are mainly located further south, clustered around the Louisville and Lexington markets.

Blue also noted the personal relationship he has with DEP’s former owner Greg Depenbrock and his family, and said he plans to keep the DEP’s name—which stands for Discount Everyday Prices—and its business approach. “They were successful because of who they are and what they did,” he says. “We’ll maintain the culture and bring some of ours in as well, bringing out the best with the combined situation.”

In addition to its liquor store holdings, the Blue Equity portfolio includes investments in energy, media, celebrity chefs, the culinary business, and hospitality, among various others.—Carol Ward

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