Dessert Holdings, a company formed by Gryphon Investors to pursue M&A in the dessert space, has acquired Atlanta Cheesecake Co. (ACC). The target will work alongside the Original Cakerie, which Gryphon invested in 2015.

Kennesaw, Georgia-based Atlanta Cheesecake, founded in 1988, produces frozen cheesecakes that are sold in retailers and grocery stores. The company will continue to operate its brand separately and its management teams will remain in place.

“ACC is a perfect complement to the other companies and brands in our platform, expanding our product offerings, geographic footprint, and retail customer network,” says Dessert Holdings CEO Paul Lapadat.

Gryphon partner Dennis O' Brien adds that the deal is attractive because the cheesecake category of the food and beverage sector is fragmented but is growing about four percent annually. “Dessert Holdings is continuing to pursue a strategy of both organic growth and acquisitions," he says. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dessert Holdings also owns cheesecake and dessert makers the Original Cakerie and Lawler's Desserts.

Gryphon is a San Francisco-based middle market private equity firm with over $2.6 billion under management. The firm typically invests up to $200 million in equity in its deals. Gryphon raised a $1.1 billion buyout fund in 2016 and a $100 million mezzanine fund in 2017.

Deals for packaged and frozen food companies are picking up, as consumers are cooking more at home. Advent International acquired pasta sauce producer Rao's Specialty Foods; Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co. Ltd. bought packaged side dish producer Bellisio Foods; and Schwan's Co. purchased frozen pizza makers Better Baked Foods and Drayton Foods.

Dessert Holdings
Gryphon Investors

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Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Assistant Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions and writes The Buyside column about corporate dealmaking, and also covers the consumer sector.