Graham Partners Acquires Commercial Bakeries in Canada

Seeing growth opportunities, PE firm Graham Partners acquires private label food producer Commercial Bakeries.

The private equity firm Graham Partners from Pennsylvania, United States, acquired Commercial Bakeries, a private-label cookie manufacturer based in Canada, on September 27, 2023. Graham Partners made the acquisition after discovering that the company had flexible manufacturing capabilities and anticipated growth in demand for the company’s services.

Transaction Summary

Our Take on the Acquisition

Graham Partners (acquirer) acquired Commercial Bakeries (target) because Graham Partners believes the private label category of baked goods has strong potential for accelerated growth and higher market share capture from the national brands. Commercial Bakeries differentiates itself within the private label space through its flexible manufacturing operations, strong research and development, proprietary formulation, multiple key certifications, and long-tenured customer relationships.

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: Commercial Bakeries is a private family-owned producer of private-label cookies in North America. It has operated since the early 1950s and is based in Toronto, Canada. Commercial Bakeries primarily serves the retail and co-manufacturing channels, partnering with many retail grocery chains and brands in North America.
  • Acquirer: Graham Partners is a private equity firm with USD $4.9 billion in assets under management. The firm invests in North American companies through a buyout or growth investing strategy. Graham Partners has a long history of partnering with family-owned and operated businesses. By leveraging its extensive experience and industry resources, the firm plans to further accelerate the growth of the company.

The Transaction

Date:September 27, 2023
Purpose: To invest in companies in the food manufacturing sector with significant growth potential, such as the private label category. Graham Partners believes Commercial Bakeries will benefit from several trends that will drive its growth, including the consumer shift from national to private label brands, the continued consumer focus on better-for-you and allergen-free products, and an increased demand for seasonal and limited time offering (LTO) products.
Acquirer’s Statement:Andrew Snyder, Managing Principal at Graham Partners – “After identifying the company through our Investment Theme Program, Graham Partners had the opportunity to build a relationship with the former family owners and watch Commercial Bakeries develop over a two-year period of time. What ultimately attracted Graham Partners to the company was its flexible manufacturing capabilities and track record of innovation. We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage our experience and industry resources as we seek to further accelerate the growth of the business.”

Target/Seller: Commercial Bakeries

Company Information

Target:Commercial Bakeries
Industry: Food Production
Type:Private, Family-Owned
Employees:75 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office and Distribution Centre: 45 Torbarrie Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Product Information 

Products:Private Label Cookies: Produces cookies like maple leaf and sandwich cremes, as well as other wire-cut and rotary cookies including chocolate chip, oatmeal, ginger snaps, animal cookies, button cookies, digestive cookies, toddler cookies, and wafer cookies that they make and package according to client specifications.
Market Reach (by revenue):Canada
United States
South Korea
Caribbean Islands

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $25.4 million (Unconfirmed source: ZoomInfo)
Revenue per Employee:USD $338,666 (i.e., USD $25.4 million / 75 employees = USD $338,666 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and revenue from ZoomInfo)

Did You Know?

The term “private label” refers to a product manufactured by one company but sold under the brand name of another company. Retailers often use private labeling to offer exclusive products, differentiate themselves from competitors, and control pricing, branding, and marketing.

Target/Seller Overview: Commercial Bakeries

Founded in the 1950s, Commercial Bakeries is a family-owned and operated producer of private-label packaged cookies with a focus on specialty, premium, better-for-you, and seasonal products for retail grocery chains and brands in North America. From its small beginnings in Toronto, Canada, Commercial Bakeries has grown to serve many high-profile clients, shipping quality products worldwide.

Commercial Bakeries makes a large variety of private-label cookies.

Buyer/Acquirer: Graham Partners

Company Information

Buyer:Graham Partners
Industry: Private Equity
Type:Limited Liability Partnership
Employees:125 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Locations:Head Office: 3811 West Chester Pike, Building 2, Suite 200, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, United States

Investment Areas

Target Type:Private Companies operating in North America
Target EBITDA Value:Between USD $10 million and USD $50 million
Sectors:Coffee: A variety of instant coffees
Consumer Foods: Peanut butter, jam, snacks, and other items
Pet Foods: Pet foods and snacks for dogs and cats
Investment Strategy:Buyout Investment Strategy: To gain controlling ownership of a company and create value by improving the operations of the company.
Growth Investment Strategy: Seeking companies that are expected to grow at an above-average rate compared to their industry or the broader market.

Financial Information 

Revenue: N/A

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: Graham Partners

Graham Partners is a private investment firm focused on investing in technology-driven companies spurring innovation in advanced manufacturing, resulting in product substitutions, raw material conversions, and disruption to traditional end markets. Graham Partners has total assets under management of USD $4.9 billion and has made over 150 acquisitions and investments. The firm was formed in 1988 and invests in the consumer/food manufacturing, industrial technology, medical devices, and life sciences sectors.

Previous Acquisitions by Graham Partners (Partial List)

  • Barcoding (2023) – A supply chain optimization and warehouse automation solutions provider based in Maryland, United States.
  • DTI (2023) – An advanced materials science company focused on engineered aerospace vibration and noise control applications with headquarters in Indiana, United States.
  • Desser (2023) – A leading global partner for aviation aftermarket products and solutions based in California, United States.
  • Rhythmlink (2023) – A designer and manufacturer of single-use brain health and neurodiagnostic solutions in South Carolina, United States.
  • Taoglas (2023) – A provider of antennas, advanced IoT (Internet of Things) components, and custom-designed services dually headquartered in the United States and Ireland.
  • Novarc Technologies (2022) – Based in Canada, the company provides AI-driven pipe welding collaborative robots for industrial and commercial end markets.
  • Signifi Solutions (2022) – Designs and manufactures automated dispensing machines and smart lockers for retail and corporate automation use. The company is headquartered in Canada.
  • KCF Technologies (2022) – A provider of asset health monitoring solutions based in Pennsylvania, United States.
  • Surgere (2021) – A supply chain solutions provider with headquarters in Ohio, United States.
  • Thrive Foods (2021) – A freeze-drying company operating in the United States, China, Vietnam, and Thailand that also offers product development services.
  • Giraffe Foods (2021) – Based in Canada, the company develops custom flavors for industrial, retail, foodservice, and bakery companies.


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