Global PE Firm Apax Partners to Acquire Bazooka Candy Brands at a Valuation of USD $700 Million

According to The Wall Street Journal, United Kingdom-based private equity firm Apax Partners has agreed to acquire Bazooka Candy Brands International Ltd, a global confectionery company based in Richmond, United Kingdom. This will be the first acquisition by Apax Partners in the confectionery category.

Transaction Summary

Our Take on the Acquisition

Apax Partners (acquirer) has acquired Bazooka Candy Brands (target) for its brands, products, and distribution channels. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apax has agreed to buy the 75-year-old confectioner in a transaction that values Bazooka Candy Brands at approximately USD $700 million, including debt.

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: Bazooka Candy Brands makes and markets a variety of confectioneries such as lollipops, chewy candy, candy spray, and gum. Its products are sold in more than 40 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia.
  • Acquirer: Apax Partners, founded in 1981, is a leading private equity firm based in London, United Kingdom. The firm has raised and invested more than USD $65 billion across four sectors: tech, services, healthcare, and internet/consumer.

The Transaction

Date:Reported by The Wall Street Journal: August 14, 2023
Price:USD $700 million
Purpose: To expand into the consumer market space.

Target/Seller: Bazooka Candy Brands

Company Information

Target:Bazooka Candy Brands International Ltd
Industry: Confectionery Manufacturing
Type:Private – owned by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners
Employees:80 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Investors:Madison Dearborn Partners: A private equity firm based in New York, United States.
Tornante: The private investment firm of Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney
Locations:Head Office: Richmond Place, 15 Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom
Regional Office: 200 Vesey Street, New York City, New York, United States

Product Information 

Products:Chewing Gum – The original Bazooka product introduced in 1947
Lollipops – Hard candy in a variety of flavors
Taffy – Chewy candy in a variety of flavors
Candy Spray – Sweet spray in a variety of flavors
Brands:Push Pop
Juicy Drop
Big Baby Pop!
Mega Mouth
Ring Pop
Market Reach:40 countries, including:
Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain
North America: United States, Canada, Mexico
South America: Brazil, Argentina
Asia: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan
Australia: Australia, New Zealand

Financial Information 

Revenue:EUR €38.74 million (USD $44.16 million) (Source: Companies House, the UK equivalent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
Revenue per Employee:EUR €484,200 (USD $551,988) i.e., EUR €38.74 million / 80 employees = EUR €484,200 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and the revenue from Companies House.

Did You Know?

Data Bridge Market Research reports that the global non-chocolate candy market was valued at USD $87.59 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach the value of USD $134.42 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 5.50% during the forecast period of 2022 to 2029. Non-chocolate candies, also known as confectioneries, include gum, toffee, gummies, nougat, licorice, hard candy, sour candy, and caramel. This type of candy is in higher demand on certain holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas.

Target/Seller Overview: Bazooka Candy Brands

Bazooka Candy Brands markets international confectioneries it calls “Edible Entertainment.” Bazooka began as a part of the Topps Chewing Gum company, which started in 1938. Topps developed Bazooka Bubble Gum in 1947 after World War II. The iconic gum got its name from a novelty musical instrument that Marine Corp Jazz Band leader and comedian Bob Burns made from two gas pipes and a whiskey funnel he called a “bazooka.” But unlike other Topps products with sports trading cards, in 1953, Topps started including comics featuring “Bazooka Joe,” a blonde kid with an eye patch, and his gang to distinguish Bazooka from other brands. In October 2007, the U.S. private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners acquired Bazooka. In 2020, following the sale of the Topps Trading cards business, the Bazooka Candy Group of  companies became a stand-alone business.

Bazooka Candy Brands offers a variety of confectionery brands and products.

Buyer/Acquirer: Apax Partners

Company Information

Buyer:Apax Partners
Industry: Private Equity
Type:Limited Liability Partnership
Employees:506 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office: 33 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6DN, United Kingdom
Regional Office #1: 601 Lexington Avenue, 53rd Floor, New York, United States
Regional Office #2: 16/F Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
Regional Office #3: Piramal Tower, 6th Floor, Peninsula Corporate Park, Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
Regional Office #4: 65th Floor, Shanghai World Financial Center, 100 Century Avenue, Shanghai, Pudong New District, People’s Republic of China
Regional Office #5: Theatinrstr. 3, Munich, Germany
Regional Office #6: Museum Tower, 4 Berkowitz Street, Tel Aviv, Israel

Investment Areas

Target Type:Private Companies
Target Enterprise Value:USD $1 billion to 5 billion
Investment Strategy:Taking a controlling stake with a helpful, collaborative approach.

Financial Information 

Revenue: N/A

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: Apax Partners

Apax Partners is a UK-headquartered global private equity firm focused on the upper middle market. It is ranked the 15th largest PE firm in the world, and since its founding in 1981, it has raised more than USD $65 billion. The firm raises capital for its investment funds through institutional investors including corporate and public pension funds, university and college endowments, and foundations.

Previous Acquisitions by Apax Partners (Partial List)

  • Infraneo (2023) – Based in France, the company offers inspection and diagnostic services for infrastructure projects.
  • Prosolt (2023) – A long-established preclinical contract research organization headquartered in France.
  • MailInBlack (2022) – A company producing IT solutions for the security of electronic exchanges based in France.
  • Pickles Auctions (2022) – Headquartered in Australia, this is a marketplace for used vehicles, salvage, industrial, agricultural, and general goods.
  • EcoOnline (2022) – A software producer for chemical documentation in Nordic countries based in Norway.
  • Alcumus (2022) – A technology-enabled compliance risk management, certification, and accreditation services provider in the United Kingdom.
  • Ole Smoky Distillery (2022) – A corn whiskey distillery in Tennessee, United States.
  • Odin Groep (2022) – An IT solutions, cloud hosting, security, managed services, and consultancy provider based in the Netherlands.
  • American Water – Homeowner Services Group (2021) – Supplies high-quality water and wastewater services to communities across the United States.


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