Private equity firm Blackford Capital has invested in Indiana-based Ellison Bakery, a manufacturer of cookie, snack bar, crunch and inclusion product, and other products for the industrial market, food service industry, and retail and private label space.
Generational Capital Markets served as the exclusive financial adviser to Ellison on the transaction. Debt financing was provided by Comerica Bank.
The transaction is the ninth by Blackford's Michigan Prosperity Fund, which invests primarily in Michigan companies, as well as neighbouring states.
Founded by Donald Ellis in a family garage, Ellison Bakery began in 1945 supplying baked goods to restaurants and grocery stores in the Ft. Wayne area. Ellison became the exclusive manufacturer for Archway Cookies in Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Ellison has over 100 employees and operates out of a 115,000 sq ft facility.
"We're excited the Ellis family decided to entrust the future of Ellison Bakery with Blackford Capital. Ellison has established itself as a premier industrial bakery and is known for its high quality and extreme flexibility in supporting a wide range of customers," says Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. The transaction also marks the retirement of Rob Ellis, who stepped down as CEO six years ago and had remained with Ellison as the CFO. Rob's sons, Jon and Jeremy Ellis, have grown the business tremendously over the past four years will continue to be active in the business post-transaction.”
"We're excited to benefit from the strategic experience and capital that Blackford brings and look forward to working with the entire team to execute our aggressive plans for growth," says Todd Wallin, president of Ellison Bakery. "We've experienced steady growth the last several years under the ownership of the Ellis Family. The Ellis family selected Blackford Capital as partner because of its shared values, aggressive growth strategy, and commitment to developing the existing team at Ellison. Over the last 70 years, Ellison Bakery has garnered a reputation for quality, service, and a commitment to helping customers improve their product. Together with Blackford, Ellison has strategically positioned itself for continued growth by preparing to invest in new production and packaging capabilities, as well as additional R&D resources.”