GREENWICH, Conn., May 24 /PRNewswire/ — Brynwood Partners V L.P. announced today that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire the Turtles(R) confectionery brand from Nestle USA, Inc., through a newly formed company, DeMet’s Candy Company. The acquisition is expected to close by June 1, 2007. Brynwood Partners will also acquire the Turtles(R) production facility in Toronto, Canada from Nestle Canada in a separate transaction and will merge this manufacturing facility into DeMet’s. Brynwood Partners is only purchasing the United States rights to the Turtles(R) brand. DeMet’s will manufacture Turtles(R) in the Canadian facility to supply the United States business and will continue to supply Turtles(R) and selected other products to Nestle Canada through a long-term supply contract.
DeMet’s will market Turtles(R) in the United States. Brynwood Partners intends to merge another of its operating companies, Signature Snacks Company, the producers of Flipz(R) coated pretzels, with DeMet’s and integrate both product lines into a combined confectionery company.
Brynwood Partners announced that David D. Clarke will be appointed to the position of President and CEO of DeMet’s Candy Company. Mr. Clarke had previously served as the President and COO of Signature Snacks. Brynwood Partners announced that it will retain the management team of Signature Snacks to run the newly formed DeMet’s Candy Company. James Gerbo will be the Senior VP of Marketing and Scott Hilley will be the CFO. Brynwood Partners has recruited Gary Parsons to serve as the VP of Sales. Henk Hartong III, Managing Partner, Brynwood Partners, will serve as the DeMet’s Chairman.
“Brynwood Partners is very excited about the acquisition of the famous Turtles(R) brand and the reintroduction of the storied DeMet’s name to the candy business,” said Mr. Hartong. “We have a successful track record in the food space and specialization in the confectionary area. Revitalizing undervalued brands through rigorous operational focus and strong marketing initiatives has been a key component of Brynwood Partners’ success. This acquisition, combined with our already successful investment in Flipz(R), will offer us continued and significant growth opportunities.” Brynwood Partners also owns the Stella D’oro Biscuit Company, Inc. and Richelieu Foods, Inc., a leading supplier of private label salad dressing and frozen pizza.
“Turtles(R) is a wonderful brand and an indulgent chocolate treat,” said Mr. Clarke. “The combination of Turtles(R) and Flipz(R) under DeMet’s will create a national, full line chocolate company. The combined product lines will allow us to become a much more significant supplier to our retail customers.”
For more than 100 years, Turtles(R) has been marketed as an irresistible combination of rich chocolate, caramel & premium nuts. Flipz(R) is the market share leader in confectionery coated pretzels in the United States. DeMet’s Candy Company will be located in Stamford, CT at 30 Buxton Farm Road.
Founded in 1984, Brynwood Partners is a private equity fund, which makes control investments in lower middle market companies targeting consumer products, light industrial manufacturing, specialty retailing and business services. The principals of Brynwood Partners have made investments in 21 portfolio companies and have successfully partnered with management to grow businesses through the financial and operating support that Brynwood Partners uniquely provides.