OMERS PE sees 3x return in Give & Go sale


  • Give & Go is Toronto baked-goods producer
  • OPE held Give & Go for almost nine years
  • Concurrent with sale, Give & Go buys two firms

OMERS Private Equity tripled its investment in Give & Go Prepared Foods with this week’s sale of the Canadian baked-goods maker to Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Terms weren’t disclosed. Reuters previously reported Give & Go’s sale could fetch as much as $800 million.

OPE told Buyouts the deal generated a 3x return on its invested capital. That confirmed an estimate provided by the firm’s head of North America, Michael Graham, in April, when the agreement with Thomas H. Lee was struck.

OPE, the in-house PE arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, held Give & Go for almost nine years. During that time, it helped the company more than double its U.S. sales, gain market share, and make two strategic acquisitions, OPE said.

Founded in 1989, Give & Go makes thaw-and-serve sweet baked goods and sells them via retailers and grocers under several brands, including the bestselling Two-Bite Brownies. It operates four production facilities in Toronto.

Give & Go CEO Joel Flatt expressed enthusiasm for the new partnership with Thomas H. Lee because of its “extensive experience” in consumer goods. He said the PE firm would support investment in Give & Go’s products and speed its acquisition strategy.

Concurrent with its sale, Give & Go announced the buy of Brampton, Ontario’s Create-a-Treat and Nafta Foods & Packaging, which make edible craft products for celebrations and holidays.

Flatt, who has led the company since 2003, said the acquisition would help “aggressively expand and scale the Give & Go platform.”

Thomas H. Lee is Give & Go’s third consecutive PE owner. OPE bought the company in December 2007 from Kilmer Capital Partners, which held it for about four years after facilitating a succession deal in June 2003.

Give & Go is OPE’s seventh exit in the past three years. Other liquidity events include OPE’s agreement in February to sell news-distribution business Marketwired to Nasdaq. The deal reportedly values Marketwired at as much as $200 million.

Additionally, OPE last year sold the Canadian operations of healthcare-information-tech provider Logibec to GI Partners.

Along with exiting companies, OPE has recently been adding to the portfolio. New platform investments include the acquisition this year of Forefront Dermatology, a provider of services to dermatology clinics, from Varsity Healthcare Partners.

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