Rhone’s Baker & Baker sells Brill to Rise Baking Company

Under Rhone, Baker & Baker has expanded and strengthened its presence in North America and Europe, as well as entered the China and the Middle East markets.

Rhone-backed Baker & Baker Group has agreed to sell its North American bakery business, Brill, to Rise Baking Company. Rise Baking is backed by Olympus Partners. The transaction is expected to close in summer 2021. Morgan Stanley advised Baker & Baker Group.

PRESS RELEASE

Atlanta, GA – June 21, 2021

  • RHÔNE PORTFOLIO COMPANY, BAKER & BAKER GROUP LIMITED, has entered into an agreement with MINNEAPOLIS, MN BASED RISE BAKING COMPANY to purchase its North American Bakery Business, Brill Inc., US bakery products and ingredients. 
  • THE SALE OF BRILL INC. ALLOWS BAKER & BAKER GROUP LTD TO FOCUS ON ITS HOLDINGS IN EUROPE AND STRENGTHENS RISE BAKING COMPANY’S PRODUCT PORTFOLIO.
  • THE SALE IS EXPECTED TO CLOSE DURING SUMMER 2021.

Brill Inc. is a comprehensive bakery manufacturer, specializing in cakes, cookies, muffins, icings, glazes, and toppings, with a nationwide footprint and distribution network across the United States, servicing retail bakeries and food service operators. The business employs approximately 1,500 people at sites in seven different US states, each of which offers its own product and manufacturing specialties.

Brill Inc.’s existing management team, led by President & CEO Steve Jones, has driven growth and value within the business, strengthening its relative market position over recent years.

Rise Baking Company specializes in the production of premium cookies, decorated cakes, dessert bars, muffins, brownies, artisan breads and flatbreads and has an impressive track record of product innovation, consistently high-quality customer service, and food safety. This reputation has made Rise Baking Company a premier supplier to the in-store bakery, foodservice, and convenience channels in North America.

Led by its CEO, Mike Schultz, and President, Kent Hayden, Rise Baking Company has a deep and experienced team dedicated to relentlessly servicing the customer. As a trusted, value-added partner, Rise has become an industry leader in the North American frozen baked goods market.

“Rise prides itself on a culture of customer focus, teamwork, and innovation,” said Schultz. “Brill is a perfect fit as we look to bring additional products and innovation to the marketplace. We look forward to welcoming our new teammates to Rise Baking Company, together delivering the highest level of service to all of our customers.”

Kent Hayden added, “This strategic move will not only strengthen Rise Baking Company, but it will continue the great legacy of the Brill name and its employees. Brill’s commitment to customer care fits hand in glove with Rise’s relentless customer focus. And our people-first culture will embrace and welcome the great people of Brill.”

Baker & Baker Group is a portfolio company of Rhône, a global private equity firm with a focus on investments in businesses and a transatlantic presence and strong track record of executing complex carve-out transactions. The divestment of Brill Inc. by Baker & Baker Group (formerly CSM Bakery Solutions) represents the latest in a series of strategic transactions by the company. As a stand-alone business under Rhône’s ownership, Baker & Baker Group has expanded and strengthened its presence in North America and Europe, as well as entered the China and the Middle East markets, helping to grow the business organically in a fragmented industry.

Marianne Kirkegaard, President and Global CEO of Baker & Baker Group Ltd, commented: “We’re extremely pleased to have agreed to the strategic sale of our North American business Brill Inc. to Rise Baking Company. The management team at Brill has done a fantastic job optimizing the business over recent years, preparing the company for the future, making this a good moment to seek new ownership. Rise emerged as the clear and obvious buyer throughout the process, and I believe this is an ideal home for Brill Inc.”

Patrick Mundt, Managing Director at Rhône, stated: “This transaction positions Baker & Baker well to continue strengthening its industry-leading position in European markets. Marianne and her team continue to execute on Baker & Baker Group’s strategic plan and create significant value for its shareholders.”

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisers to Baker & Baker Group, and Sullivan & Cromwell provided legal counsel. Rise Baking Company was advised by Kirkland and Ellis.

About Brill Inc. and Baker & Baker Group Ltd:

Baker & Baker Group Ltd is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of Bakery Products with market leading capability in the donut, muffin, brownie, cookie, cake, specialty bread, and viennoiserie categories.

Baker & Baker is dedicated to delight customers and consumers with outstanding competence, innovative products and high-quality service.

Serving customers in the retail, food service and the artisan channels under a portfolio of trusted brands including Baker & Baker American Bakery, Goldfrost, Concadoro, Molco, as well as licensing brand agreements with Mondelez and Disney, and partnering with major key accounts on private label.

About Rhône
Rhône, established in 1996, is a global private equity firm with a focus on investments in businesses with a transatlantic presence. Rhône’s investment philosophy includes the development of strong, strategic partnerships with the companies in which it invests. Rhône has a consistent history of successful corporate carve-out transactions and working with entrepreneur and family-led businesses, and operates across its London, New York and Madrid offices. Rhône has invested in a diversified portfolio of companies including investments in the business services, consumer, and industrial sectors. For more information about Rhône, its investment professionals, and its current portfolio, please visit: www.rhonegroup.com.

About Rise Baking Company
Rise Baking Company, a North American bakery manufacturer renowned for innovation, produces a vast array of products for in-store bakeries and foodservice markets. Rise’s customers include the leading national grocery chains, convenience stores, QSRs, and mass merchandisers. Rise operates with an unparalleled customer-first culture, resulting in best-in-class product innovation, quality, and service.

Rise Baking Company believes “our finest ingredient is our people.” For more information, please visit www.risebakingcompany.com

Rise Baking Company is a portfolio company of Olympus Partners. Founded in 1988, Olympus Partners is a private equity firm focused on providing equity capital for middle market management buy-outs and for companies needing capital for expansion. Olympus is an active, long-term investor across a broad range of industries including food, business and consumer services, financial services, healthcare industrial services and manufacturing. Olympus focuses on long term growth and value added for all its portfolio companies.

Olympus manages in excess of $8.5 billion mainly on behalf of corporate pension funds, endowment funds and state-sponsored retirement programs. www.olympuspartners.com.

Correction: This report has been updated to clarify that Baker & Baker is selling Brill to Rise Baking Company. A previous version mischaracterized the transaction.