Is it a good idea for Keefe Group & Trinity to Merge?

Keefe Group is a packager of prison safe food products. They produce their own brands of food but they also carry a wide range of name brand snack foods such as Frito-Lay. They also provide lotions, shampoos, soaps, and many other common items found in prison commissary shops. Keefe Group also offers kiosks of all different purposes. Prisoners can pay, receive funds, and call on Keefe Group’s kiosks.

 

Keefe Group is about to be acquired by H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. Capital owns Trinity Services Group, a company in the same industry as Keefe. When H.I.G. merges with Keefe Group, they will control a very large portion of the prison commissary marketplace. Anti-trust lawyers should be on high alert due to the recent news of the merger.

 

As one entity Trinity, H.I.G.’s existing prison commissary company, and Keefe Group could make nearly one-billion dollar in revenue every year from prisoners and the prisoner’s families. At the moment there are only three major competitors in the entire industry: Keefe, Trinity, and Aramark. If one of these companies were to merge with the others it would be one step closer to a national monopoly.

 

The world of prison commissary goods is so competitive due to kickbacks given by suppliers. Prisons aren’t merely choosing the cheapest options available, they are picking companies that give them the biggest piece of the pie. Prisons profit a small portion of sales from every item sold in commissary; a company that offers them the biggest percentage will surely be given the contract.

 

Keefe Group is currently graded an F by the Better Business Bureau. A customer of one of Keefe Groups’ commissary shop said that they were unable to receive their goods due to logistical problems. The customer filed to have their payment refunded.