- Piedmont Candy Company is a manufacturer and marketer of branded and private label confections and snack foods recognized for its iconic Red Bird and better-for-you Thinful snacking brands
- Founded in 1890 and based in Lexington, North Carolina, Piedmont Candy Company has been handcrafting candy and confections for over 130 years
CHICAGO, July 10, 2023 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, today announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Piedmont Candy Company (“Piedmont” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Plexus Capital (“Plexus”), on its sale to Sequel Holdings (“Sequel”) and Embassy Park Investment Company (“EPIC”).
Founded in 1890 in Lexington, North Carolina, Piedmont is a leading manufacturer and marketer of candy and snacks under the Red Bird and better-for-you Thinful brands. Under the Red Bird brand, the Company markets naturally flavored, handcrafted peppermint candy puffs and flavored popcorn. In 2021, Piedmont launched the Thinful brand, a line of better-for-you “snackfections” made with a proprietary natural sweetener blend for an indulgent, but “guiltless” snacking experience.
Don Stockton, CEO of Piedmont, said, “Piedmont has a long and rich history of handcrafting confections with quality ingredients, and an exciting track record of growth and innovation in the candy and snacking sector. Mesirow served as our trusted advisor in this transaction and utilized their extensive experience within the sector to identify a strong and growth-oriented partner. We look forward to the continued growth and success of the Piedmont platform.”
“Piedmont is known for its core category leadership and commitment to consistency, superior taste and quality ingredients,” said Paul Mariani, Managing Director of Investment Banking at Mesirow. “This transaction will enable the Company to further accelerate its strong growth and continue to drive new, innovative products and flavors across its multi-category platform. It was a privilege to advise the Company and we wish the Piedmont team continued success.”
Will Anders of Plexus Capital said, “Mesirow’s snacking and confections sector expertise proved to be a differentiator throughout this process and enabled Piedmont to partner with a buyer with a well-defined thesis in the sector. We look forward to watching Piedmont continue its growth under Sequel’s and EPIC’s ownership.”
The sale of Piedmont Candy Company represents another successful engagement completed by Mesirow Investment Banking and highlights the firm’s expertise within the food, beverage and agribusiness industry. This is the second private equity-owned snacking and confections transaction Mesirow has completed in the latest six months. 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.
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 mesirow.com 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 Piedmont Candy Company
Piedmont Candy Company is an iconic confections business that’s been handcrafting peppermint and assorted flavored soft candy puffs in North Carolina since 1890. The Company markets its products under the iconic Red Bird brand as well as its recently launched, better-for-you snacking brand, Thinful. To learn more, visit: redbirdcandies.com and bethinful.com
About Plexus Capital
Plexus Capital is a Raleigh, NC-based private equity firm founded in 2004. Plexus focuses on investments and partnerships with middle market businesses seeking capital for growth. The firm has deployed over $1.0 billion investing in businesses with strong market dynamics, committed management and a proven business strategy. To learn more, visit: plexuscap.com
About Sequel Holdings
Sequel Holdings is a Dallas-based private equity firm founded in 2002. Sequel specializes in making control equity investments in profitable lower middle market businesses, focused primarily on the food and beverage industry, as well as select opportunities in the agribusiness, and plastics and specialty materials sectors. To learn more, visit: sequelholdings.com
About Embassy Park Investment Company
Embassy Park Investment Company is an investment and advisory firm whose principals have extensive experience in the CPG food industry. The firm acts as both an investor and advisor to businesses in the manufacturing and/or sales and marketing of branded, private label and co-manufactured food products. To learn more, visit: epinvestco.com