GREENWICH, CONN. — Brynwood Partners VI L.P., through its Pearson Candy Co., has acquired the Bit-O-Honey confectionery brand from Nestle USA, Inc. It is the fifth brand Brynwood has acquired from Nestle. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Introduced in 1924 by the Schutter-Johnson Co. of Chicago, Bit-O-Honey was acquired by Nestle in 1984. According to Brynwood, Bit-O-Honey is available in many formats and has wide U.S. retail distribution in food, drug, mass market and dollar channels.
“The acquisition of Bit-O-Honey will complement our strong Pearson's business,” said Henk Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood VI and vice-chairman of Pearson’s. “While management continues to focus on product innovation and expanding the company’s geographic reach, the Bit-O-Honey brand has strong national awareness. We feel this acquisition will be a conduit to expand the reach of all of Pearson’s brands throughout the U.S.”
Pearson Candy is headquartered in St. Paul and has been owned by Brynwood since August 2011. The company’s products include salted nut rolls and mint patties as well as Pearson’s Nut Goodies and Pearson’s Bun.
Bit-O-Honey is the 37th corporate brand acquired by Brynwood since the private equity group’s inception in 1984. The pace of acquisitions has accelerated in recent years with 23 brand acquisitions completed since January 2011 in 10 separate transactions.Food companies are a Brynwood specialty, accounting for three of the nine companies currently in the group’s portfolio. In addition to Pearson, Brynwood owns Back to Nature Foods Co., a maker of cookies, crackers, granola, trail mix and juices, and DeMet’s Candy Co., maker of Turtle’s, Flipz, Treasures and TrueNorth snack brands.