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Published in Finance

Blackford Capital closes on Ellison Bakery sale

BY MIBIZ STAFF Monday, August 17, 2020 11:25am

Grand Rapids-based private equity firm Blackford Capital has closed on the sale of Ellison Bakery, a maker of cookies and other baked goods that’s headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Blackford Capital sold Ellison Bakery to Tilia Holdings, a Chicago private investment firm founded in 2017 that invests in the food supply chain and last week reported to federal securities regulators that it raised $99.7 million for a second fund.

Jeff Johnson, a managing director of Blackford Capital COURTESY PHOTO

“Since our initial investment, our team has been honored to partner with the Ellis family, Ellison Bakery’s management team, and our esteemed group of co-investors to successfully grow and refine the company’s business model,” Jeff Johnson, a managing director of Blackford Capital and the former chairman of Ellison Bakery, said in a statement. “The investments we made to expand its capabilities should position the company to accelerate and achieve its next phase of expansion. We have high confidence in the established leadership’s ability to realize their numerous growth initiatives.”

Ellison Bakery makes cookies, snack bars, crunches and other products for the industrial market, food service industry and retail and private label space.

Blackford Capital acquired Ellison Bakery in 2017. Terms of the sale to Tilia Holdings were undisclosed.

The Ellis family, Promus Equity Partners LLC, Concentric Equity Partners L.P. and Baird Principal Group partnered in the deal. Comerica provided senior debt financing. The sale was the fifth exit for Blackford Capital among 15 portfolio companies.

The sale “yielded strong financial results for the business and our limited partners,” said Blackford Capital founder and Managing Director Martin Stein.

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