Private equity firm to buy BakeMark

Private equity firm to buy BakeMark

PICO RIVERA, CALIF. — Private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group, LP has signed an agreement to acquire BakeMark USA, LLC from Pamplona Capital Management. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to partner with BakeMark and support the company in its next stage of accelerated growth,” said José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner, and Arta Tabaee, managing director, Clearlake. “The BakeMark investment is a natural extension of Clearlake’s deep experience investing in both the food and beverage and distribution and logistics ecosystems.  We believe long-term market tailwinds, including increased focus on supply chain simplification and growing demand for ethnic and specialty bakery products, offer a unique opportunity to invest behind a category leader like BakeMark. We are eager to support the management team and bring together all of Clearlake’s available resources to drive value creation, accelerate organic growth, and create an industry consolidation platform.”

Based in Pico Rivera, Calif., BakeMark provides distribution services through a network of 29 distribution centers and 5 manufacturing facilities across the United States and Canada. BakeMark offers a diversified line of products, ingredients and supplies to the food industry under brands that include Westco, Multifoods, Trigal Dorado, Best Brands, BakeQwik, BakeSense, C’est Vivant and Sprinkelina. BakeMark has approximately 1,000 employees across North America.

Founded in 2006, Clearlake Capital Group’s target sectors are consumer, industrials, and technology. Clearlake currently has approximately $39 billion of assets under management, and its senior investment principals have led or co-led more than 300 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Dallas. The company’s portfolio includes Chef’s Cut Real Jerky and Proven Brands, manufacturer of Thinsters and ParmCrisps snacks. The private equity firm earlier invested in World Gourmet Marketing, LLC, which develops and markets snacks under the Sensible Portions brand. World Gourmet was sold to Hain Celestial in 2010.

For BakeMark, the transaction would mark the second time it has changed hands in four years. In 2017, Pamplona Capital Management acquired BakeMark from CSM Bakery Solutions. At that time, Marianne Kirkegaard, president and chief executive officer of CSM, said the sale of BakeMark was a key move in its decision to focus its core business in Europe and North America. Meanwhile, William Pruellage, co-managing partner at Pamplona, said he believed BakeMark was well positioned to succeed as a stand-alone entity and capitalize on new growth opportunities.

Commenting on the just announced sale to Clearlake, Mr. Pruellage said, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Jim (Parker, CEO of BakeMark) and his team to establish BakeMark as an independent platform and to aggressively grow the business into the clear market leader in the bakery distribution space through both organic initiatives and add-on acquisitions. We wish BakeMark and Clearlake continued success in the next chapter of growth.”

Mr. Parker added, “Today marks an exciting new chapter in BakeMark’s history. Since acquiring the business in 2017, Pamplona has been a trusted and supportive partner, helping to guide BakeMark’s management team through a successful period of sustained growth. Clearlake’s operational insights and experience in the food and beverage sector will accelerate that growth and support our commitment to deliver the best quality products and services for our customers.”

Harris Williams and Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisers to Pamplona. Credit Suisse served as financial adviser to Clearlake and is leading the financing to support the investment alongside Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and BMO Capital Markets.