PE-backed Sovos Brands to buy Birch Benders

Sovos Brands, which is backed by Advent International, has agreed to acquire Birch Benders, a producer of pancake and waffle mixes, toaster waffles and pancake and baking cups.

Sovos Brands, which is backed by Advent International, has agreed to acquire Denver-based Birch Benders, a producer of pancake and waffle mixes, toaster waffles and pancake and baking cups. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of October. Piper Sandler is serving as financial advisor to Birch Benders on the transaction.

PRESS RELEASE

BERKELEY, Calif. and DENVER, Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sovos Brands (“Sovos”), a food company backed by global private equity firm Advent International, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Birch Benders, LLC (“Birch Benders”), a fast-growing producer of delicious, better-for-you Pancake and Waffle Mixes, Toaster Waffles, and Pancake and Baking Cups. The acquisition deepens Sovos Brands’ role in the breakfast and snacking categories and represents a significant step in the company’s mission to acquire and build one-of-a-kind brands that bring consumers delicious food for joyful living. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of October.

“With its absolutely delicious products that deliver against healthy consumer lifestyles such as paleo and keto diets, Birch Benders is the perfect next addition to our growing portfolio of one-of-a-kind brands. Birch Benders shares Sovos’ commitment to making simple and delicious foods that use only the highest quality ingredients,” said Todd Lachman, President and CEO of Sovos Brands. “With our proven ability to transform brands by unleashing growth and deepening consumer affinity, we are thrilled to take Birch Benders to a new chapter of growth while diversifying Sovos Brands into new categories.”

The acquisition will add a fourth brand to the Sovos portfolio, which also includes Rao’s, a line of pasta sauces, soups, frozen entrées and dry pasta; noosa yoghurt; and Michael Angelo’s frozen entrées. Since Sovos’ acquisition of these brands, Sovos has consistently delivered double-digit sales growth while expanding profit margins. With the Birch Benders acquisition, Sovos’ annual retail sales will be above $750 million.

Upon the addition of the Birch Benders brand to the Sovos portfolio, Sovos will now play in seven large food categories — sauces, yogurt, frozen entrées, pancake & waffle mixes, frozen waffles, soups and dry pasta. The acquisition diversifies the company’s consumer base by strengthening its presence in the breakfast and snacking categories, and bolsters the company’s ambitions to participate in more food occasions.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be joining the Sovos Brands family,” said Matt LaCasse, Birch Benders’ founder and CEO. “We believe the wealth of experience and resources of the team at Sovos will allow us to reach even more consumers with our delicious, innovative, easy-to-make offerings made with nutrient-rich, quality ingredients.”

Based in Denver, Colorado, Birch Benders was founded in 2011 by Matt LaCasse and Lizzi Ackerman, who set out to fill a gap in the center store by creating an easy-to-make, restaurant-quality pancake mix that was delicious and nutritious. Known for high-quality ingredients and bringing food freedom to guilt-inducing categories, Birch Benders has since expanded its portfolio beyond pancake and waffle mix to toaster waffles, as well as pancake and baking cups, and is now one of the largest independent brands in its categories. Their clean, simple ingredient profile resonates with consumers and is aligned with key market trends. Birch Benders prides itself in providing products that taste delicious and are for all to enjoy, including organic, plant-based, non-GMO, protein, paleo, and keto alternatives.

Advent International has significant investment experience in the retail, consumer and leisure industry. Over the past 30 years, the firm has invested $13 billion in 80 companies in the sector across 22 countries worldwide. In addition to Sovos Brands, recent North American investments include Thrasio, Olaplex, Aimbridge Hospitality, First Watch Restaurants and lululemon athletica.

Piper Sandler is serving as financial advisor and Haynes and Boone LLP is serving as legal advisor to Birch Benders on the transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges is serving as legal advisor to Sovos Brands.

ABOUT BIRCH BENDERS
Founded in 2011 and backed by Boulder Food Group, Birch Benders is the number one pancake & waffle mix brand in the natural channel nationally. In addition to its flagship just-add-water pancake & waffle mixes, Birch Benders offers a suite of products including frozen toaster waffles and microwaveable pancake and baking cups. All of the brand’s products are naturally delicious, easy-to-make, and utilize high-quality ingredients. The brand believes that the best moments in life are spent around the table, which inspired CEO and founder, Matt LaCasse, and his wife, co-founder and CMO, Lizzi Ackerman, to carefully craft their recipes through months of painstaking, double-blind taste tests. This process ensures that every ingredient is the best on the planet, and their combinations and proportions are true culinary poetry.

For more information about Birch Benders, please visit www.birchbenders.com.

ABOUT SOVOS BRANDS
Sovos Brands is a food company with a mission to acquire and build one-of-a-kind brands that bring today’s consumers delicious food for joyful living. Sovos Brands invests in brands that have exciting growth potential, combining industry expertise with fresh thinking to bring its products into more homes across America.
The brands in its portfolio include Rao’s, a line of premium pasta sauces, soups, frozen entrées and dry pasta; noosa, a producer of thick, velvety whole milk yoghurt; and Michael Angelo’s, a leading producer of authentic frozen Italian entrées.

Find out more about Sovos Brands at www.sovosbrands.com, Rao’s Homemade at www.raos.com, noosa at www.noosayoghurt.com, and Michael Angelo’s at www.michaelangelos.com.

ABOUT ADVENT INTERNATIONAL
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in 360 private equity transactions in 41 countries and as of March 31, 2020, had $49 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 200 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After more than 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com or www.linkedin.com/company/advent-international .