Godiva Acquiring DeMet's Candy

Brynwood Partners divesting maker of Turtles, Treasures, Flipz brands


GREENWICH, Conn. -- Brynwood Partners V LP has signed an agreement to sell its investment in DeMet's Candy Co. for $221 million to Yildiz Holdings AS, owner of the Godiva chocolate brand.

The companies expect the transaction to close in Jan. 2014.

DeMet's Candy, based in Stamford, Conn., is a leading 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.

Brynwood Partners acquired all of the DeMet's brands from Nestle USA in separate transactions. DeMet's Candy employs approximately 200 people and operates two manufacturing facilities in the United States. 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 LP, 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 of DeMet's Candy and senior managing partner of Brynwood Partners. "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 Nestle USA and combined it with the Flipz brand, which we had acquired from Nestle 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."

He added, "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."

Founded in 1984, Greenwich, Conn.-based Brynwood Partners is an operationally focused private-equity fund that makes control investments in North America-based lower-middle-market companies in the consumer sector. It manages more than $900 million of private-equity capital for its limited partners who include U.S. and international pension funds, fund-of-funds, endowments, high-net-worth family investment offices and financial institutions. Its portfolio also includes Pearson's Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodies, Bun and Bit-O-Honey confectionery brands, as well as the Back to Nature brand in the cookies, crackers, granola, nuts, trail mix and juice categories. Other brand holdings include Zest and Coast soaps and VO5 shampoo.

Yildiz Holding is a leading global food and beverages company with sales in more than 80 countries. Through its subsidiaries, including Ulker Biskuvi and Godiva, Yildiz Holding produces a range of products, including biscuits, chocolate and chocolate-covered products, margarine and edible oils, beverages, dairy products, culinary products and baby food. Founded in 1944, it is based in Istanbul, Turkey.