Snacks & Candy

Bazooka Candy Brands Acquired by Private Equity Advisory Firm

Apax Partners to focus on distribution growth, product innovation, geographic expansion, strategic acquisition
Tony Jacobs, Bazooka Candy Brands
Photograph courtesy of Bazooka Candy Brands

Bazooka Candy Brands, a nonchocolate confectionary brand, has been acquired by Apax Partners LLP—a global private equity advisory firm—from former owners Michael D. Eisner’s Tornante Co. and funds affiliated with Madison Dearborn Partners.

Also effective upon the transaction’s closing, Tony Jacobs, Bazooka Candy Brands’ long-time president, has been promoted to CEO.

The Apax team, working in partnership with Bazooka’s management team, will look to stand the company up as an independent business and build on the success of Bazooka’s global portfolio of confectionary brands. In support of its growth efforts, the team will focus on distribution growth, product innovation, geographic expansion and the strategic acquisition of brands in complementary categories, said the company.

“It’s rare to have the opportunity to partner with a business that can boast the success and heritage that Bazooka has, and we are excited to work with the entire team on this next chapter for the business,” said Nick Hartman, partner at Apax. “Bazooka fits squarely within our team’s focus on investments in well-positioned consumer packaged goods categories, and we see a compelling opportunity to leverage our sector knowledge to help the company achieve its next phase of growth.”

Bazooka produces, markets and distributes a range of confectionery brands, including Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, Juicy Drop and Bazooka Bubble Gum. Its portfolio spans lollipops, gummies, chewy candy, gum and chocolate, packed in unique formats to deliver Edible Entertainment experiences to generations of customers worldwide, according to the company. Over the past several years, Bazooka’s U.S. retail sales growth has significantly outpaced the overall confectionary category, and in the year-to-date period through August 2023, retail sales have grown approximately 29% year-over-year.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Apax in this next stage of our growth journey,” said Jacobs. “Bazooka will continue to build on our history of successful brand-building and innovation to drive outsized growth in the U.S. and globally. We have an incredibly talented team, and I’m very proud of the leadership position we’ve been able to establish in the marketplace. Together with Apax, we look forward to continuing to deliver truly differentiated and exciting products that customers love. I also want to thank our former owners, Tornante and MDP, as well as CEO Michael Brandstaedter, for their support and commitment to our brands, which have enabled our strong performance and have positioned the business for our next chapter of success.”

For 50 years, Apax has worked to inspire growth and ideas that transform businesses. The firm has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $65 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of internet/consumer, tech, services and healthcare.

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