Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has bought Kilwins Quality Confections Inc. and Kilwins Chocolate Franchise Inc., a franchisor, retailer, manufacturer and distributor of chocolate, ice cream and confectionary products.
Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Petoskey, Mich., Kilwins offers a variety of handcrafted products delivered in a novel store format that utilizes traditional production methods. The company operates over 150 locations across 25 states, the majority of which are franchised operations. Robin McCarty and Don McCarty, the majority owners of Kilwins since 1995, will retain an ownership interest.
“We are strong believers in the long-term potential of Kilwins and are excited to work closely with the company’s management team to accelerate growth through continued franchise expansion, new channel opportunities, and additional product innovation,” states Andrew Schwartz, a partner at LLCP.
Honigman LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as legal counsel to LLCP on the transaction. Kilwins was advised by BDO Capital Advisors LLC and Varnum LLP.