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September 18, 2020

US snacks maker Cheeze Kurls sold

The own-label manufacturer, based in Michigan, has a new owner, moving the business out of family control.

By Dean Best

Cheeze Kurls, the US private-label snacks maker, has been sold to local private-equity firm Kilroy Partners.

Terms were not disclosed but the sale of Michigan-based Cheeze Kurls takes the business out of family control.

Cheeze Kurls, based in Grand Rapids, sells to retailers and provides contract manufacturing to other snack food companies.

The company was set up in 1964 by the fathers of current co-owners Timothy Dedinas and Robert Franzak, who acquired the business in 1999.

Dedinas, Cheeze Kurls’ president, and Franzak, who has the role of vice president, will each have a “minority” stake in the business and take on advisory positions.

Franzak said other potential buyers had in the past proposed closing Cheeze Kurls’ plant and moving operations out of state. He described Kilroy Partners as “the right buyer” for the business.

“When we met with them, they provided a vision for us with what they wanted to do with the company and how they wanted to expand,” Franzak said. “The key thing for us was Kilroy keeping the employees we had on hand at the time.

“That was number one with us – keeping the business in Grand Rapids and keeping the employees. The employees will reap the rewards of the growth that Kilroy will set forth here. Because of their mission, we decided to go with them and we feel confident with what they are going to do.”

According to the website of Florida-based Kilroy Partners, the private-equity house’s other investments are in companies involved in auto parts and aviation ground support equipment, as well as the Iowa Northern Railway Company.

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