Yildiz Holding secures US stronghold with $221m DeMet’s Candy Company buy

DeMet's candy brands Turtles, Treasures and Flipz snapped up by Godiva owner Yildiz Holding

Turkish firm Yildiz Holding has strengthened its presence in the US by acquiring Turtle’s and Flipz owner DeMet’s Candy Company.

Yildiz, owner of Godiva and Ülker, acquired DeMet’s from private equity firm Brynwood Partners for $221m.

DeMet’s was established by Brynwood in 2007 after it purchased confectionery brands Turtles, Treasures and Flipz from Nestlé USA.

In-roads to US market

Jim Zaza, vice chairman of the Board of Directors at Yildiz Holding told ConfectioneryNews: "North America is an important part of Yildiz' international expansion.  The DeMet's Candy Company was identified as a business that has strong and well recognized brands in the United States distributed through major retail and FDM customers with significant opportunities for growth and expansion.

"Over the last one year, the Business Development and Corporate Strategy teams of Yildiz Holding had identified and reviewed several acquisition targets in North America. The DeMet's Candy Company was a very clear and strong fit with Yildiz' strategic objectives and intent; Strong and well recognized brands, wide distribution reach, consistent growth and a very strong and experienced team."

DeMet’s is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. It operates two manufacturing plants and employs 200 people.

DeMet’s current CEO, Peter Wilson, will join Brynwood Partners when the deal closes this month, but the rest of the DeMet’s management team will remain in place.

Days after Brynwood divested DeMet's it announced that one of its portfolio companies, Back to Nature Foods, had bought out Mondelez's stake in joint venture cookies and snacks business SnackWell’s. See HERE.

Yildiz's other businesses

Yildiz Holding already has a manufacturing presence in the US through its Godiva business – but China, the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey have been earmarked as the international growth priorities for the Godiva brand.

Yildiz Holding’s Ülker business comprised of chocolate, cake and biscuit brands, reported a16.1% sales boost in the first half of 2013 to TL 1.3bn ($671m). However, the confectionery subsidiary’s net profit was down 3.9% to TL 111 million ($573m).

Yildiz expects the Ülker business to post full year net sales of TL 2.6bn ($1.3bn) and an 11-11.5% EBITDA margin.

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