L Catterton Acquires Kodiak Cakes

L Catterton has acquired Kodiak Cakes, a maker of pancake and waffle mixes. Kodiak’s existing shareholders, including Trilantic North America and Sunrise Strategic Partners, and the company’s founders and management team, will continue to own a minority stake in the company.

Kodiak Cakes is a producer of pancake and waffle mixes, frozen waffles and pancakes, oatmeal, and other baking mixes. Customers of Kodiak include Target, Walmart, Costco, Publix, Safeway, and other nationwide retailers.

Kodiak had humble beginnings. Back in 1982, eight-year-old and future CEO Joel Clark began selling his mother’s hand-milled pancake mix door-to-door from his red wagon. In 2013, the company appeared on Shark Tank, the venture capital pitch show, but was not backed by any of its panel of investors. Since the company’s appearance on the show, Kodiak’s revenue have grown by more than 50x. Today, Kodiak is headquartered in Park City, Utah, and is led by Mr. Clark and President Cameron Smith.

“Since its first wagonload of flapjack mix, Kodiak has brought an authenticity and commitment to simple, wholesome ingredients that has allowed it to become one of the most disruptive food platforms in America,” said Andrew Taub, a managing partner at L Catterton. “We look forward to working closely with the entire Kodiak team to grow the brand together and inspire more consumers to pursue healthier eating and live an active, outdoor lifestyle.”

L Catterton has experience investing in consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies with past and current investments in Kettle Chips, YoCrunch, Ferrara Candy Company, and Sweet Leaf Tea.

“In identifying a partner for Kodiak’s next phase of growth, it was important to find a team with the experience and capabilities to support our mission of providing an unbeatable array of great-tasting and nutritious products for our consumers who are actively navigating today’s frontier,” said Mr. Clark. “L Catterton shares our vision, and their track record of helping grow iconic CPG brands makes the firm an ideal partner for Kodiak as we continue to propel our business forward.”

L Catterton invests across a range of consumer-focused companies with areas of specific interest in the food and beverage, retail and restaurants, consumer products and services, consumer health, and media and marketing services sectors. Since 1989, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has made over 250 investments in consumer companies.

Trilantic North America and Sunrise Strategic Partners – a joint venture of Trilantic and food executive Steve Hughes – first invested in Kodiak Cakes in July 2016.

Trilantic makes control and significant minority investments of $50 million to $300 million in North America-based companies that have enterprise values of $50 million to $1 billion. Trilantic was formed in 2009 by former members of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and is based in New York City.

Houlihan Lokey is the financial advisor to Kodiak on the sale to L Catterton.

Private Equity Professional | May 27, 2021

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