GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Blackford Capital (“Blackford”), a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, today announced it has successfully closed on the sale of Fort Wayne, Indiana-based portfolio company Ellison Bakery to Tilia Holdings, a Chicago-based private investment firm focused on the food supply chain. Ellison Bakery is a leading manufacturer of cookie, snack bar, crunch and inclusion products for the industrial market, food service industry, and retail and private label space. The Ellis family, Promus Equity Partners, Concentric Equity Partners, and Baird Principal Group partnered in the deal, with senior debt funding provided by Comerica.
“Since our initial investment, our team has been honored to partner with the Ellis family, Ellison Bakery’s management team, and our esteemed group of co-investors to successfully grow and refine the company’s business model,” said Jeff Johnson, managing director of Blackford and former chairman of Ellison Bakery. “The investments we made to expand its capabilities should position the company to accelerate and achieve its next phase of expansion. We have high confidence in the established leadership’s ability to realize their numerous growth initiatives.”
Blackford announced its initial investment in the industrial bakery in April 2017. The bakery was founded by Donald Ellis in 1945.
“Ellison Bakery will represent Blackford’s fifth successful exit amongst a total of 15 platform companies,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford. “We are very pleased with the outcome of this investment, which yielded strong financial results for the business and our limited partners. We are confident in the shared vision for the bakery going forward and look forward to seeing their future success, as we continue our commitment to supporting unique, alternative investments through both long-term and new relationships, even amid this new economic environment.”
“It was a pleasure to co-invest alongside Blackford and support Ellison’s management team on its growth initiatives over the past few years of transition from sole family ownership to one with institutional backing,” said Andy Code, managing director of Chicago-based Promus Equity Partners. “We wish our valued partners and the entire Ellison team all the best as they continue forward.”
About Blackford Capital
Founded in 2000, Blackford is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford makes majority control investments in founder and family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and services companies. Currently, Blackford has ten portfolio companies. For more information, visit blackfordcapital.com.