Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., invested in Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Ellison Bakery, Inc., a Generational Capital Markets client.
Brenen Hofstadter, President, and Julio Dominguez, Vice President, were the lead advisors from Generational Capital Markets on the transaction. GCM is the broker/dealer affiliate of Generational Equity, LLC, and primarily conducts merger and acquisition transactions between $10 million and $500 million of enterprise value.
“It was important to the Ellison family to maintain the management, staff and culture of the business post-closing, and to align with a partner committed to growth,” said Hofstadter. “The Blackford team fit that criteria and more.”
The transaction is the ninth by Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund, which invests primarily in Michigan companies, as well as neighboring states.
Ellison Bakery is a leading 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. Since its beginning in 1945, Ellison has grown rapidly and established itself as the independent bakery of choice for blue chip customers. Currently, Ellison differentiates itself through its extensive research and development capabilities and ability to accommodate short run products. 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,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital.
The transaction also marks the retirement of Rob Ellis, who stepped down as CEO 6 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.
“The Ellis brothers had been looking for a financial partner that would help continue the legacy they had built with their father,” Stein continued. “We’re honored to play a part in Ellison’s next chapter and we look forward to investing in the business, the employees, and the community as we continue the story of growth at Ellison.”
“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,” said 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.”