Global investment firm Apax Partners has reportedly struck a deal to buy Bazooka Candy Brands.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apax has agreed to buy the US confectioner in a transaction that values Bazooka Candy Brands at around $700m, including debt.
Bazooka Candy Brands has 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.
The WSJ had reported in June Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners were looking to sell up.
The confectioner, headquartered in New York, sells brands including Ring Pop lollipops, Mega Mouth candy spray and the bubble gum brand Juicy Drop.
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An unnamed source told US news website Axios the group’s revenue is up around 30% in 2023 so far.
The source said Bazooka Candy Brands’ namesake product only accounts for around 2% of annual sales, with the majority of sales coming from brands including Ring Pop, Push Pop, Juicy Drop and Baby Bottle Pop.
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. The leading brand was the Mars-owned Extra with 15% of sales volumes.
Apax has raised about $65bn in assets, and has seven offices around the world, according to its website.
Just Food approached Apax and Madison Dearborn Partners for comment. Both refused to be drawn on the reports of the deal.