Brynwood Partners V L.P. announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its investment in DeMet's Candy Co. for $221 million to Yildiz Holdings A.S., owner of the Godiva® chocolate brand. The transaction is expected to close in January 2014.
DeMet's Candy, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., is a U.S. manufacturer and marketer of premium priced chocolate confection products under the Turtles®, Treasures® and Flipz® brands. Since its formation in 2007 by Brynwood V, DeMet's Candy has significantly expanded its sales, production and profitability, according to the release. All of the DeMet's brands were acquired by Brynwood Partners from Nestlé USA in separate transactions.
DeMet's Candy employs approximately 200 people and operates two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. During Brynwood V's ownership, the company built one of these plants, bringing approximately 150 jobs to Big Flats, N.Y. while significantly investing in and upgrading the other. After the closing, Peter Wilson, the company's CEO, will be joining Brynwood Partners VII L.P., Brynwood Partners' most recently raised fund. The rest of DeMet's Candy's management team will remain with the company.
"We are delighted to announce the divestiture of DeMet's Candy," said Hendrik J. Hartong III, chairman, DeMet's Candy and senior managing partner, Brynwood Partners, in a prepared statement. "This investment highlights Brynwood Partners' unique operational capabilities in the private equity sector. We originally formed DeMet's Candy in 2007 to acquire the Turtles® brand in the U.S. from Nestlé USA and combined it with the Flipz® brand, which we had acquired from Nestlé USA in 2004. After forming DeMet's Candy we quickly hired a management team, with whom we have worked collaboratively, to create significant shareholder value. We are grateful to DeMet's Candy's management team and all of the hard working employees in the manufacturing plants for their tireless efforts under our ownership. We wish Yildiz success with this outstanding company."
Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. served as the investment advisor to DeMet's Candy.