AUA Closes Sweet Sale of Indulge

AUA Private Equity Partners has sold Indulge Desserts Holdings to publicly traded Emmi Group.

Indulge Desserts was acquired by AUA in June 2016 and is a maker of premium gourmet desserts, offering a full line of American and international/ethnic, all-natural products to the foodservice and retail markets across the US.

The company’s portfolio of products includes Italian specialties, Latin desserts (tres leches and dulce de leche) and Asian inspired treats as well as gluten-free and sugar-free items. Indulge Desserts, led by its founder and CEO John Alair-Garcia, is based in New York City.

During AUA’s ownership term, Indulge Desserts’ revenues grew by more than 100% and EBITDA grew over 70% through both organic growth and three add-on acquisitions: Love & Quiches, a Freeport, New York-based manufacturer of desserts and quiches (January 2017); Elegant Desserts, a Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based manufacturer of European-style desserts including French chocolate mousse, petit fours, specialty brownies, cheesecake and carrot cake bites (March 2017); and Joey’s Fine Foods, a Newark, New Jersey-based maker of dessert snacking products including muffins, sliced cakes, brownies, pastries, and cookies (October 2018).

Beyond these add-on acquisitions, AUA also supported Indulge Desserts’ entering and expanding into new sales channels – including retail and e-commerce – and new product development.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the value AUA created for my business through operational initiatives, strategic acquisitions, and active sponsorship,” said Mr. Alair-Garcia. “They helped drive initiatives in sales, marketing, and operations leading to a great result for our management team, owners, and investors. They have been my like-minded partner from the beginning, and I am excited to celebrate this outcome with them.”

“We are pleased to announce the sale of Indulge Desserts to Emmi Group which we believe is an extraordinary partner to further facilitate growth in the Indulge Desserts’ platform,” said Steven Flyer, a partner of AUA. “Our partnership with John Alair-Garcia allowed us to expand our distribution channels, build out our R&D and innovation efforts, and integrate several accretive acquisitions leading to an outstanding result for our partners.”

Emmi Group (SWX: EMMN) is a producer of dairy products including milk, cream, butter, yogurt, quark (curds), pudding and cheeses. Emmi was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland.

New York City-based AUA Private Equity makes equity investments from $20 million to $75 million in companies with at least $5 million of EBITDA. Sectors of interest include consumer products and services with a focus on family-owned businesses and companies benefiting from the growth of the US Hispanic population.

“Indulge Desserts is emblematic of AUA’s investment strategy – partnering with founder/family owners and building an institutional foundation for accelerated growth,” added Andy Unanue, managing partner of AUA. “We are extremely pleased to celebrate Indulge Desserts and are excited for the next chapter of the company’s growth.”

The Indulge Desserts’ transaction team was led by Partner Steven Flyer, Managing Director Kyce Chihi, Vice President Jack Lin, and Associate Greg Conway.

Harris Williams was the financial advisor to AUA with additional advisors including Grant Thornton and L.E.K. Consulting.

Private Equity Professional | October 14, 2020

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