BakeMark embarks on new chapter in growth to become market leader in bakery sector

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

BakeMark has been acquired by Clearlake Capital Group. Pic: BakeMark
BakeMark has been acquired by Clearlake Capital Group. Pic: BakeMark

Related tags: BakeMark, Clearlake Capital Group, Pamplona Capital Management, Hain celestial, Csm bakery solutions, Bakery market

BakeMark is set to capitalise on new growth opportunities following its acquisition by private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group, whose current $39bn portfolio includes Chef’s Cut Real Jerky and ParmCrisps and Thinsters maker Proven Brands.

The California-based producer of ingredients and supplies for the bakery sector under brands like BakeSense, BakeQuik, C’est Vivant and Sprinkelina was purchased from Pamplona Capital Management for an undisclosed amount.

This is the second time BakeMark has changed hands in four years. In 2017, Pamplona Capital Management acquired the California company from CSM Bakery Solutions. Under Pamplona, BakeMark embarked on an aggressive strategy to become an independent platform.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Jim (Parker, CEO of BakeMark) and his team to aggressively grow the business into the clear market leader in the bakery distribution space through both organic initiatives and add-on acquisitions,”​ said William Pruellage, co-managing partner at Pamplona.

Natural extension

Based in Pico Rivera, BakeMark manages five manufacturing facilities, along with a network of 29 distribution centres across the US and Canada. According to José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner, and Arta Tabaee, MD of Clearlake, the acquisition is a natural extension of Clearlake’s extensive investment in the food industry. The private equity firm currently has approximately $39bn of assets under management, and its senior investment principals have led or co-led more than 300 investments, including the Sensible Portions maker World Gourmet Marketing, which was sold to Hain Celestial in 2010.

“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,”​ said Feliciano.

“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,”​ said Tabaee.

BakeMark CEO Jim 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 and BMO Capital Markets.

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