Bazooka Candy Brands has announced a change of leadership after completing Apax Partners’ deal to buy the business.
Tony Jacobs has been promoted to chief executive of the US confectioner, previously being president of the company for nearly two years.
Bazooka did not disclose the future of previous CEO Michael Brandstaedter, formerly CEO of The Topps Co. and an executive at Kraft Foods and Nissin.
The change at the helm of the company that sells brands including Bazooka gum, Ring Pop lollipops and Mega Mouth candy spray comes as global investment firm Apax Partners completes its acquisition.
Financial details were not disclosed but The Wall Street Journal wrote in August that Apax valued Bazooka at circa $700m.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Apax in this next stage of our growth journey,” said Jacobs.
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“Bazooka will continue to build on our history of successful brand-building and innovation to drive outsized growth in the US and globally. We have an incredibly talented team, and I’m very proud of the leadership position we’ve been able to establish in the marketplace. Together with Apax, we look forward to continuing to deliver truly differentiated and exciting products that customers love.
“I also want to thank our former owners, Tornante and MDP, as well as CEO Michael Brandstaedter, for their support and commitment to our brands, which have enabled our strong performance and have positioned the business for our next chapter of success.”
In a statement, Apax said: “In support of its growth efforts, the team will focus on distribution growth, product innovation, geographic expansion and the strategic acquisition of brands in complementary categories.”
Nick Hartman, a partner at Apax, added: “It’s rare to have the opportunity to partner with a business that can boast the success and heritage that Bazooka has, and we are excited to work with the entire team on this next chapter for the business.
“Bazooka fits squarely within our team’s focus on investments in well-positioned consumer packaged goods categories, and we see a compelling opportunity to leverage our sector knowledge to help the company achieve its next phase of growth.”
Bazooka had previously been owned since 2007 by Tornante, the private investment firm of former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner, and by private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.
According to GlobalData, Just Food’s parent company, Bazooka gum accounted for 0.7% of volume sales in the US chewing gum market in 2021.