Swander Pace Capital buys majority stake in Voortman Cookies

U.S. private equity firm Swander Pace Capital has bought a majority interest in Voortman Cookies Ltd, a manufacturer and marketer of cookies and wafers based in Burlington, Ontario. The acquisition’s value was not disclosed. Swander Pace, which specializes in investments in consumer products, said the partnership with Voortman will focus on its continued growth through investment in product innovation, distribution and marketing. As a result of the deal, Voortman CEO Harry Voortman will begin to transition into the roles of shareholder, advisor and board member. The company’s new CEO will be Douglas MacFarlane. Swander Pace’s other Canadian investments include Recochem Inc.


Swander Pace Capital Acquires Majority Stake in Voortman Cookies

October 14, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Swander Pace Capital, a leading private equity firm specializing in investments in consumer products companies, has acquired Voortman Cookies, a premier manufacturer and marketer of cookies and wafers. Based out of Burlington, Ontario, Voortman Cookies products are sold in retailers throughout the world.

“For over 60 years, Voortman Cookies has remained one of the most well-known brands in Canada and has grown its footprint throughout North America and across the world,” said Andrew Richards, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “We see a huge opportunity to help the company expand even further through increased investment in product innovation, distribution and marketing.”

“I’m pleased to announce our search for a new majority shareholder who values our team and what we’ve built has resulted in this exciting agreement with Swander Pace Capital,” said Harry Voortman, chief executive officer of Voortman Cookies. “As I begin to transition from CEO to shareholder, advisor and board member, it is important to me to find an experienced partner who would carry on the Voortman Cookies legacy into the future.”

In addition to the acquisition by Swander Pace Capital, Mr. Voortman will transition his role as CEO to Douglas MacFarlane, who brings valuable leadership experience growing food and consumer products brands.

“I want to thank Harry for the warm welcome and support that he has offered me as part of this transition. I am excited to continue his longstanding tradition of quality products and market leadership,” said MacFarlane. “It is an exciting time for Voortman Cookies, and I look forward to working with our incredible team and a seasoned strategic and financial partner to enhance our innovation and seize the opportunities in front of us.”

“We couldn’t be more proud to partner with a company like Voortman and its incredible family legacy of great products and devoted customers,” added Heather Smith Thorne, director at Swander Pace Capital. “Harry has built a tremendous business with fantastic prospects, and we are excited to help the company in its next chapter of growth.”

Stikeman Elliott served as legal advisor in the transaction for Swander Pace Capital. Deloitte Corporate Finance Canada served as financial advisor for Voortman Cookies and McCarter Grespan served as legal advisor for Voortman Cookies.

About Swander Pace Capital

Swander Pace Capital is a leading private equity firm specializing in investments in growth-oriented, middle-market consumer companies in North America and the United Kingdom. Since its inception in 1996, Swander Pace has used its expertise in this industry to pursue a consistent strategy of acquiring or investing in consumer products companies with leading market positions in attractive, defensible niches. With staff in San Francisco, New Jersey, and Ontario (Toronto), Swander Pace provides portfolio companies with a unique mix of financial and strategic support to create long-term value. Moreover, Swander Pace has a long investment history in Canada, having current or previous ownership in companies such as Liberte Brand Products, Pineridge Bakery, and Kicking Horse Coffee. Overall, Swander Pace has led successful private equity investments in consumer companies with total revenues in excess of $2.0 billion. For more information, visit www.spcap.com.

About Voortman Cookies

Voortman Cookies has been exciting customers in North American markets and around the world with its delicious, traditionally baked cookies since 1951, when the company was founded by Dutch immigrant brothers William and Harry Voortman. The company makes more than 60 unique varieties of cookies and wafers, including an extensive line of sugar-free/no sugar added products. Voortman brand cookies are sold in supermarkets across Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, and more than 70 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.voortman.com.


LANE (for Swander Pace Capital)
Jeff Segvich, 503-546-7870

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