Brynwood Partners to Sell Maker of Turtles Candy

Image The owner of Godiva chocolates is dipping deeper into the candy business. Yildiz Holding, the Istanbul-based food and beverage company that has several brands including Godiva, has agreed to purchase DeMet’s Candy Company, the maker of Turtles chocolates, from the private equity firm Brynwood Partners for $221 million.
DeMet’s operates manufacturing plants in the United States, and the deal could give Yildiz a stronger foothold here. Yildiz owns the Ulker Group, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the Turkish food industry, which absorbed Godiva after Yildiz purchased it from the Campbell Soup Company in 2007 for $850 million.

“North America is an important part of Yildiz’ international expansion,” Jim Zaza, vice chairman of Yildiz Holding, said through a spokesman. “The DeMet’s Candy Company was a very clear and strong fit with Yildiz’ strategic objectives and intent,” He said Yildiz was drawn to the company’s strong and well-recognized brands, wide distribution reach, consistent growth and experienced team.

“We are delighted to announce the divestiture of DeMet’s Candy,” Hendrik J. Hartong III, a senior managing partner at Brynwood and the chairman of DeMet’s, said in a statement on Friday. “We wish Yildiz success with this outstanding company.”

Brynwood, which also owns the Back to Nature Granola brand and the Pearson’s snack brand, first purchased Flipz, the chocolate-covered pretzels, from Nestlé in 2004. It formed DeMet’s in 2007 with the intention of buying the Turtles chocolate brand from Nestlé. It also purchased Treasures, the milk chocolate caramels, from the food giant.

After the closing, Peter Wilson, DeMet’s chief executive, will join one of Brynwood’s funds. Houlihan Lokey advised DeMet’s on the transaction, which is expected to close in January. JPMorgan advised Yildiz.

Representatives for Brynwood, Yildiz and Houlihan Lokey could not be immediately reached for comment.

(By RACHEL ABRAMS - New York Times)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07