Press Release

Mesirow Advises Pearson’s Candy on its Sale to Annabelle Candy Company / Seattle Gourmet Foods

  • Pearson’s Candy develops, manufactures and markets branded and private label confections throughout the U.S. and Canada
  • Owned by Spell Capital Partners, the century-old candy maker is based in St. Paul, MN and is best known for its iconic brands and Midwestern roots

CHICAGO, December 13, 2022 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Pearson’s Candy (“Pearson’s” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Spell Capital Partners (“Spell Capital”), on its sale to Annabelle Candy Company (“Annabelle”) / Seattle Gourmet Foods (“SGF”), a portfolio company of Promise Holdings, LLC ("Promise").

Founded in 1909 in St. Paul, MN, Pearson’s develops, manufactures and markets branded and private label confections throughout North America. Pearson’s brands include the Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodie and BUN. The Company also co-manufactures products for branded confections companies as well as store brands for major retailer customers. Pearson’s products are primary sold through the convenience, discount, grocery, home improvement and specialty independent channels throughout North America.

“Mesirow served as a trusted advisor to Pearson’s throughout this complex transaction,” said Dan Lagermeier, CEO of Pearson’s Candy. “Mesirow’s deep understanding of the confectionery sector enabled them to identify a growth-oriented buyer for Pearson’s and its core brands. We look forward to the continued success of these beloved heritage brands.”

“It was a privilege to advise Pearson’s on this exciting transaction,” said Paul Mariani, Managing Director of Investment Banking at Mesirow. “Pearson’s has a century-long, rich history of quality candy-making and a deeply loyal customer base. We look forward to the Company’s continued growth under Annabelle’s / SGF’s leadership.” 

Jim Rikkers, Senior Managing Director at Spell Capital, said, “We’ve enjoyed watching Pearson’s grow under our ownership and we are pleased that Mesirow identified Promise as the ideal buyer for the business. We wish Pearson’s continued success under its new ownership.”

The sale of Pearson’s represents another successful engagement completed by Mesirow Investment Banking and highlights the firm’s expertise within the food, beverage and agribusiness industry. Committed to leveraging extensive sector-specific expertise across industry groups and nurturing deep longstanding relationships, Mesirow has a proven track record of completing highly tailored, complex and successful transactions on behalf of its clients.

About Mesirow 

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago, with offices around the world, we serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good. With capabilities spanning Global Investment Management, Capital Markets & Investment Banking, and Advisory Services, we invest in what matters: our clients, our communities, and our culture. To learn more, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.

Mesirow was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the Top 100 RIA firms by Barron’s.

About Pearson’s Candy

Pearson’s was founded by Edward Pearson in 1909 and is currently located in St. Paul, MN. The Company’s brands include Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodie and BUN. Our purpose is simple; to make tomorrow a little better than today – for our customers, our team and our community. We do this through our commitment to making everyday moments a little sweeter. Pearson’s has been delighting people of all ages with delicious confections for generations. Our team effort to deliver quality, accessible, innovative and tasty confections will ensure Pearson’s treats are available for generations to come. Learn more:

About Spell Capital

Spell Capital was founded in 1988 and is a manager of private equity based in Minneapolis, MN. Spell Capital has over $1.2 billion of assets under management. Spell Capital Private Equity is engaged in the acquisition of controlling interests in well-managed, historically profitable manufacturing businesses on behalf of the Spell Family Office. As a family office, Spell Capital is long-term, patient capital that approaches investment opportunities with flexibility. Learn more:

About Annabelle Candy Company

Annabelle is home to legendary candy bars including Abba-Zaba®, Rocky Road®, Big Hunk®, U-NO® and Look! ®. Annabelle’s is a third generation candy manufacturer whose heritage candy bars deliver sweet nostalgia to longtime customers while unique flavor innovations attract new generations of candy lovers. Learn more:

About Seattle Gourmet Foods

Seattle Gourmet Foods, manufacturer of the Dilettante Chocolates® brand, has been committed to manufacturing premium food and confections for almost 30 years. Consisting of four national brands, multiple contract manufacturing partnerships and private label manufacturing, SGF provides value and quality to those looking for private label and co-manufacturing to grow, or to those wanting to move out of manufacturing to focus on sales and marketing. Learn more:

About Promise Holdings LLC 

Promise is a private holding company that invests in and helps operate early-stage and mature businesses, primarily in the consumer industry. Promise utilizes diversity in all forms in providing true value-add to all its portfolio companies. Promise acquired Annabelle Candy Company in December 2021 and Seattle Gourmet Foods in in July 2022. Learn more:

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