Dessert Holdings maintains aggressive growth strategy with second acquisition of 2022

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Dessert Holdings has taken another piece of the dessert pie in its aggressive market expansion. Pic: GettyImages/Ian Merton
Dessert Holdings has taken another piece of the dessert pie in its aggressive market expansion. Pic: GettyImages/Ian Merton

Related tags Dessert Holdings Dianne's Fine Desserts The Original Cakerie Atlanta Cheesecake Company Bain Capital Private Equity Desserts Mergers and acquisitions Foodservice

Chef-inspired dessert innovator Dessert Holdings has finalised its acquisition of frozen thaw-and-serve producer Dianne’s Fine Desserts from Geneva Glen Capital, the next step in significantly expanding its basket of products for the foodservice industry.

Through the acquisition, St. Paul’s-based Dessert Holdings gains Dianne’s product line, which includes frozen cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies, tarts, brownies, bars and other specialty desserts, along with its two Global Food Safety Initiative-certified manufacturing facilities.

“Dianne’s possesses a distinctive set of product capabilities and customer relationships that are highly complementary with Dessert Holdings,”​ said Paul Lapadat, Dessert Holdings CEO.

“Dianne’s has an exceptional, innovative team that we are thrilled to welcome to the Dessert Holdings family.”

Dianne’s current CEO Mike Knowles, along with its president Dan Scales, will both retire in conjunction with the acquisition.

According to Adam Schecter and Jeff Gonyo, joint MDs of Geneva Glen Capital, the pair commendably overcame the challenges of the pandemic and continued to deliver first-in-class menu products to its customers.

“We are truly thankful to Mike and Dan and the entire Dianne’s management team for the incredible effort and dedication that resulted in a strong outcome for all of us,”​ said Schecter and Gonyo.

Added Knowles, “We are proud to have grown Dianne’s into a differentiated national supplier and value-added partner to the foodservice channel.”

Scales added he believed Dessert Holdings’ scale platform and capabilities will enable Dianne’s to continue to grow.

Fast-tracking growth

The deal is the next step in Dessert Holdings’ aggressive expansion strategy – and its second in 2022 – following its acquisition by Bain Capital Private Equity in 2021.

Earlier this year, Dessert Holdings acquired gourmet dessert producer Steven Charles,​ adding clean label dessert brands like The Original Cakerie to its portfolio.

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. Together, the brands serve more than 250 customers in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America and Asia.

Dessert Holdings was represented in the Dianne’s transaction by Ropes & Gray as legal advisor, PwC as accounting advisor, and William Blair as exclusive financial advisor. Dianne’s was represented by Katten Muchin Rosenman as legal advisor, RSM as accounting advisor, and Lazard as exclusive financial advisor.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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