Tate’s Bake Shop

Mondelēz International Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ), which aims to build the “best snacking company in the world,” has completed the $500 million acquisition of Tate's Bake Shop from the Riverside Co. Mondelēz produces biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy and powdered beverages under well-known global brands, including: Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey, Mondelēz earned net revenues of approximately $26 billion in 2017. "Tate's on-trend products complement our existing biscuits portfolio and provide access into the fast-growing premium cookie segment," said Mondelēz CEO Dirk Van de Put in a statement. Tate’s is best known for crisp, buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies. Founder Kathleen King began selling small batches of cookies at her family's farmstead when she was 11 years old and still “perfects every recipe herself,” according to the company, which operates a specialty bake shop in Southampton, New York. The current CEO is Maura Mottolese. Riverside invested in the company in 2014. Tate’s saw sales and earnings increase 4x during in the last five years, according to the private equity firm. Key initiatives during Riverside’s investment included: the significant expansion and improvement of processes around production; deepening of existing customer relationships; expanding distribution; new product launches; and boosting the national sales and marketing team. “With new products like snack-sized Tiny Tate’s and on-trend flavors like Coconut Crisps and Ginger Zinger, we helped the company respond to marketplace demands,” said Riverside partner Alan Peyrat when the deal was announced in May. Mondelēz is operating Tate's as a separate standalone business under its current management team “to nurture its entrepreneurial spirit and maintain the authenticity of the brand while providing resources to accelerate growth,” according to the buyer’s press release announcing the June 7 deal closing. Jones Day and Deloitte advised Riverside on the transaction. Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) led the sales process along with TM Capital.

Today is the last chance to nominate a candidate for Rising Stars of Private Equity. We’re looking for individuals who are full-time private equity investors and whose best days will be in the future. These are the folks you predict will one day play a key leadership role at your PE firm – or heading up their own. The nomination process is informal, and all decisions will be made by our editorial team, which is headed by Editor-in-Chief Mary Kathleen Flynn. Please email suggestions, questions and comments to marykathleen.flynn@sourcemedia.com. In the email subject line, please include: “Rising Stars of Private Equity Candidate" and the PE professional's name and firm. For more details, read the full story: Who are the Rising Stars of Private Equity? Nominate candidates by June 8. And for related content, see the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including our slideshow.

Deal Announcements
EyeSouth Partners, an eye care practice formed by lower middle-market healthcare-focused PE firm Shore Capital Partners, has formed a partnership with South Georgia / North Florida Eye Partners and Cataract and Laser Surgery Center of South Georgia. PE firms are in investing in eye care practices and other areas of healthcare that are ripe for consolidation. For more, read our in-depth feature: Why private equity firms like veterinarians, opthamologists and dentists.

L Catterton has invested in Goiko Grill, a Madrid-based gourmet burger casual dining chain. Goiko operates 44 restaurants and plants to increase that number to 58 by the end of 2018. In 2017, L Catterton purchased Mexican restaurant casual dining operator Uncle Julio's.

TriSpan has acquired a majority stake in Rosa's Thai Café, a U.K.-based restaurant chain with 13 locations. Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP represented TriSpan.

Golden Gate Capital has merged portfolio companies Eddie Bauer and Pacific Sunwear of California, both retailers of outdoor apparel, to form PSEB Group. The combined company will have more than 700 stores and is expected to generate around $1.5 billion in sales in 2018. Golden Gate will invest additional capital in PSEB.

L Squared Capital Partners has made a growth investment in Kanopy. The latter is a video streaming platform that offers access to films and documentaries to professors, students and public libraries.

Meridia Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in Barcelona-based airline Volotea. The target carried over 4.8 million passengers in 2017.

For more deal announcement's, including Seidler Equity and MLB buying Rawlings, see The weekly wrap: Microsoft, MLB, Seidler Equity, Tyson Foods.

To see which PE firms are raising funds, such Apollo Asia and Cressey & Co., see PE fundraising scorecard: Apollo Asia and Cressey.

People Moves
Tom Mazzucco has joined KeyBanc Capital Markets's (NYSE: KEY) San Francisco office as a managing director. Most recently with Jefferies, Mazzucco will serve as the firm's head of global internet & digital media investment banking.

Karl Beinkampen was hired by investment firm Leerink Capital Partners as president. Previously with Wilshire Private Markets, Beinkampen will be responsible for all of Leerink's business activities.

Lender views
Covenant-lite loans are “bleeding down” to the middle market, says Twin Brook Capital Partners co-founder Trevor Clark in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Watch the video interview: With rise of cov-lite loans, experience matters, says Twin Brook’s Trevor Clark. Twin Brook won Mergers & Acquisitions' M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Lender of the Year.

“The rise in private debt has been tremendous over the last three or four years,” says Sunil Mehta, managing director, Madison Capital Funding LLC, in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. Madison, a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Co., has long been a stellar source of capital in the middle market. Watch the video: Investors from all over the globe are attracted to private debt, says Madison's Sunil Mehta. Also, see our Q&A with Jennifer Cotton: Abundance of capital drives highly competitive loan process, says Madison Capital's chief underwriter.

“At the end of the day, it really matters how you behave if there’s a problem,” says Karin Kovacic, managing director, East Coast region, of middle-market lender Monroe Capital. Watch our video interview, shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018: Trust counts in lending to the middle market, says Monroe Capital’s Karin Kovacic.

Featured content
“If there's one theme we're seeing across all of our deals, it is the digital transformation of all companies,” says Matt Conaty, director, financial sponsors, William Blair, in this video interview, shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. William Blair won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Investment Bank of the Year. Watch the video: Digital transformation is the name of the game, says William Blair’s Matt Conaty.

With summer road trips in mind, check out our slideshow on auto deals: Car parts makers fuel M&A, as industry readies for self-driving vehicles. Highlights include: Intelbought Mobileye, and Delphi bought nuTonomy. Meanwhile, private equity firms, including Clearlake, CenterOak Partners and Wabash National, are scooping up all sorts of car-related companies from parts makers to service providers.

In our updated Buyer’s Guide, we profile nine categories of product and services designed to help M&A professionals perform in today’s highly competitive dealmaking arena. Read the full story: From fund administrators to VDRs, dozens of firms help M&A pros compete.

Read full coverage of Mergers & Acquisitions' 11th annual M&A Mid-Market Award winners: Campbell Soup, Huron Capital, Idera CEO Randy Jacops, LLR Partners, McGuireWoods, Stryker, Twin Brook and William Blair.

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn

Mary Kathleen Flynn joined SourceMedia in 2011, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Mergers & Acquisitions. MK oversees the brand’s content on all media platforms, including website, e-newsletters, video, slideshows, podcasts and print.
Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market deamaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.