Harlan Bakeries set to scale up with AmeriQual bolt on

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Harlan produces a diverse portfolio of bagels, pies & tarts, cakes, breads, granola and English muffins. Pic: GettyImages/littleny
Harlan produces a diverse portfolio of bagels, pies & tarts, cakes, breads, granola and English muffins. Pic: GettyImages/littleny

Related tags: Harlan Bakeries, AmeriQual Group Holdings, Turning Rock Partners, Mergers and acquisitions, contract manufacturing, instore bakery category

Turning Rock Partners provided the financial boost to support the acquisition, with existing shareholders and management also participating in the new round of capital.

AmeriQual Group Holdings is a privately held Indianapolis company producing a range of shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen foods, sauces and condiments for branded food companies, government agencies and  education and other institutions.

Its diverse portfolio enables Harlan Bakeries to add another level of offerings to Harlan Bakeries’ own set of products.

Founded in 1991 by brothers Hugh and Doug Harlan, the Indiana-headquartered privately owned company is an international wholesale supplier and distributor of bagels, pies, cakes, cookies, muffins and breads for instore bakeries, along with private label items and under brands like Harlan Bigger Better Bagels, Harlan Giant Gourmet Bagels, Harvest’s Best and Nature’s Grain. It is also a contract manufacturer, operating seven production facilities located across the US.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with all of our employees to vertically integrate both businesses and to ensure continued growth and success for both companies,”​ said Hugh Harlan.

AmeriQual president Dennis Straub added, “The AmeriQual team is excited to be partnering with Harlan Bakeries as we move toward the next phase of our company’s growth. We believe that there are multiple growth opportunities with this combination and that our company cultures are very similar. We are excited about our future.”

Commitment to scaling up

Turning Rock – a New York-based private equity firm that pursues debt, equity and hybrid investments in lower-middle market business in North America – provided the structured equity financing to support the transaction.

“The existing management of AmeriQual has built an exceptional business, [while] Harlan Bakeries has decades of expertise in this area and a commitment to scaling the business,”​ said Louis Mayer, VP at Turning Rock, noting that Harlan is celebrating is 30th​ anniversary this year.

“Turning Rock recognised the synergies between the two firms and their commitment to quality, safety and their communities. We are delighted to partner with both firms on this transaction.”

Turning Rock was advised by McGuire Woods; Meridian535 Strategies provided third-party customer contract assessments; Lampert Capital Advisors served as buy-side advisor on the deal; and E&Y provided accounting and audit advisory services.

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