PE firm expands footprint in frozen breakfast space with acquisition of leading US waffle and pancake producer

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

De Wafelbakkers is a leading producer of frozen breakfast goods like waffles, pancakes, waffles and French toast, in the US. Pic: AnnaPustynnikova
De Wafelbakkers is a leading producer of frozen breakfast goods like waffles, pancakes, waffles and French toast, in the US. Pic: AnnaPustynnikova

Related tags Brynwood Partners De Wafelbakkers Breakfast waffles Hometown Foods The Oklahoma Publishing Company Anschutz Corporation Private equity firm Buitoni

Brynwood Partners – which currently manages more than $1 billion of private equity capital for its limited partners – has added De Wafelbakkers to its growing portfolio of North American lower middle market companies.

The De Wafelbakkers acquisition increases the Chicago-headquartered PE’s footprint in the food and beverage space, which includes investments in Hometown Foods, Harvest Hill Beverage Company, Carolina Beverage Group, Buitoni Food Company and Great Kitchens Food Company.

De Wafelbakkers increases Brynwood’s manufacturing platform to 16 facilities employing approximately 4,000 people and generating more than $2.2bn in annual sales.

Frozen breakfast space

North Little Rock-headquartered De Wafelbakkers is a leading producer of branded, co-manufactured and private label frozen pancakes, waffles and French toast, sold through grocery, mass retailers and foodservice outlets across the US. The company employs approximately 650 people across two manufacturing sites – a 100,000 sq. ft. facility in Arizona and a 98,000 sq. ft. facility in McDonough, Georgia.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of De Wafelbakkers,”​ said Henk Hartong III, chairman and CEO of Brynwood Partners.

“Brynwood already has a presence in the breakfast category through its dry mix offerings with its Hungry Jack and Arrowhead Mills brands, owned by Brynwood portfolio company Hometown Food Company.

“We also have extensive experience in the frozen manufacturing space and believe that we can partner with the management team to accelerate performance in the De Wafelbakkers business. The frozen pancake, waffle and French toast market is a growing space and we are excited to be invested in the category with such a significant manufacturing player.”

Brynwood Partners acquired De Wafelbakkers from The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO), a subsidiary of the Anschutz Corporation, owned by Denver-based businessman Philip Anschutz. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“On behalf of Brynwood Partners VIII, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to OPUBCO and the Anschutz Corporation for being such great partners to us on this transaction,”​ added Ian MacTaggart, president, CFO and COO of Brynwood Partners.

“We look forward to working closely with the Company's management team and loyal employees to transition the business to its next phase of growth.”

Brynwood VIII was represented by Holland & Knight on legal matters. William Blair served as the exclusive advisor to De Wafelbakkers.

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