Dessert Holdings, North America’s leading premium dessert company, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity, to accelerate its growth and expansion. Dessert Holdings will continue to operate under its current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Paul Lapadat. Financial terms of the private purchase from current owner Gryphon Investors were not disclosed.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dessert Holdings is North America’s premium dessert company and the platform for three premium brands: The Original Cakerie, Lawler’s Desserts and Atlanta Cheesecake Company. The Original Cakerie, founded in 1979, is a manufacturer of high-quality desserts with locations in Vancouver, British Columbia and London, Ontario. Lawler’s Desserts, founded in 1976, is a manufacturer of gourmet cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies and other premium desserts based in Humble, Texas. Atlanta Cheesecake Company, founded in 1988, is a manufacturer of premium cheesecakes and fusion desserts based in Kennesaw, Georgia. Together, the brands serve more than 250 customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America and Asia. Dessert Holdings is widely recognized for providing retail and foodservice customers with chef-inspired innovative desserts made with real ingredients, a flexible and low-cost supply chain, and best-in-class service.

“We are focused on building the leading premium dessert company in North America by bringing innovative, chef-inspired dessert products to our retail and foodservice customers,” said Lapadat. “Bain Capital Private Equity’s investment and business-building expertise is coming at just the right time in our evolution, and they share our vision and ambition to accelerate our growth as the innovation leader in premium, artisanal desserts.  We want to thank Gryphon Investors for its support over the last five years and look forward to partnering with our new owners to expand our organization and support the next stage of growth.”

“Paul and his team have done an exceptional job in building Dessert Holdings as the leading premium desserts platform in a category that continues to grow as consumers increasingly choose to treat themselves to desserts with high-quality, clean-label ingredients,” said Adam Nebesar, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity. “We are thrilled to partner with this experienced team and look forward to supporting Dessert Holdings as it develops new and innovative products, pursues organic growth and acquisition opportunities, and further strengthens its value proposition to existing and new customers.”

“Gryphon is delighted to transition our investment in Dessert Holdings to a partner that will help them attain next-level growth. Over our five years of ownership in the company, we have supported two add-on acquisitions, overseen a sizeable plant expansion, and solidified the management and operations team into a highly professional organization. We are proud to leave Dessert Holdings well-positioned to thrive in a burgeoning market sector with strong growth trends, and we wish Paul and the entire team continued success,” said Keith Stimson and Matt Farron, bothpartners at Gryphon.  

Bain Capital Private Equity has a long history of partnering with companies to accelerate growth, including in the consumer, retail and restaurant industries. The firm’s restaurant, foodservice and grocery-related investments have included Advantage Solutions (NASDAQ: ADV), Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ: BLMN), Brakes Group Food Distribution, Burger King (NYSE: QSR), Dunkin’ Brands Group (NASDAQ: DNKN), Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), Domino's Pizza Japan, Retail Zoo, and Skylark Restaurants.

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals. Debt financing for the transaction is being led by Antares Capital.

Houlihan Lokey is serving as financial advisor to Dessert Holdings. PwC is serving as accounting advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal counsel to Bain Capital Private Equity.