Superior Capital Buys Gourmet Desserts Unit of Heinz North America

Superior Capital Partners has bought the gourmet desserts division of Heinz North America. Financial terms weren’t announced. The new entity will be called Dianne’s Fine Desserts and will be led by Michael Knowles as CEO and Daniel Scales as President. Headquartered in Newburyport, Mass., the company will have about 500 employees.


Superior Capital Partners LLC, a Detroit-based private equity firm, announced today that it has acquired the gourmet desserts division of Heinz North America. The newly formed entity will be called Dianne’s Fine Desserts and will be led by Michael Knowles as CEO and Daniel Scales as President. This investment represents the twelfth acquisition and the fifth platform company from Superior’s 2008 inaugural fund.
Newly named, Dianne’s™ Fine Desserts is a leading provider of gourmet frozen thaw and serve desserts to the foodservice industry and in-store bakeries. The purchase includes the brands Dianne’s™ Fine Desserts and Alden Merrell Fine Desserts™ in addition to other brands including Black Tie™ and Skooopz™. The Company will be headquartered at its bakery in Newburyport, MA and has a second bakery operation in Le Center, MN. The company has approximately 500 employees.
Mark Carroll, Superior’s Managing Partner, commented, “We are extremely fortunate to be partnering with not one, but two, industry partners in this investment. Mike Knowles and Dan Scales have demonstrated track records of achieving bottom line success in many areas of the food industry and specifically in the frozen desserts category. The Dianne’s and Alden Merrell brands are known for extremely high quality and their products are served at some of the nation’s most highly regarded national chain restaurants. We are confident that with an increased focus on new product introductions and operational efficiencies, the Dianne’s platform will enjoy rapid growth in both revenue and profitability.”
Mike Knowles, CEO of the new entity stated, “Dianne’s Fine Desserts operates in an appealing sector of the food industry and the business offers significant growth potential. Our growth strategy will be focused on providing world class operational excellence, superior customer service and innovative products for our customers.”
“New ownership, dedicated to a single core business platform, will provide Dianne’s Fine Desserts with the focus to excel in the premium dessert sector,” says Dan Scales, President of Dianne’s Fine Desserts. “The Company enjoys strong core markets and an established customer base that will benefit from our single-minded approach toward creating inspiring desserts that perfectly complement and anticipate consumers’ demands for eye-popping, memorable and delicious products.”
As a special situations fund, Superior combines capital, transaction experience and operational improvement expertise with proven management teams who have the vision, capability and commitment to successfully improve and grow their businesses. Superior seeks to acquire or recapitalize niche manufacturers, value-added distributors and specialty service companies. Generally, these companies will have annual revenue of $10 to $150 million, identifiable growth opportunities and the need for capital and resources to implement a growth and recovery plan.