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BUYOUTS | The Deal: Traub Capital-Backed Signature Adds Brand Castle

By Nikitha Sattiraju

January 7, 2022

Dessert decorating products maker Signature makes its first-add on deal since its acquisition by Traub Capital in 2018.

Traub Capital Partners-backed dessert decorations maker Signature Brands LLC on Wednesday, Jan. 5, marked its first add-on deal with the acquisition of Brand Castle LLC for an undisclosed amount.

Bedford Heights, Ohio-based Brand Castle makes branded and private-label baking and dessert decorating kits, gourmet baking and seasonal drink mixes along with its own gingerbread house line.

Brand Castle president Carolyn Resar will lead the brand under Signature and Traub, while founders Andrea and Jimmy Zeilinger will remain with the company.

The deal will complement Signature's existing product portfolio while also expanding the buyer's retail customer base, according to Traub Capital managing director David West. The New York firm had been on the lookout for add-on businesses catering to seasonal celebrations, particularly those making gingerbread kits, since last year, said West, who joined the firm in May.

West referred to Ocala, Fla.-based Signature as a "family celebrations business," which centers its products around various holidays and occasions. The company, which owns the Betty Crocker dessert decorating business, also makes Easter egg decorating kits, Halloween pumpkin carving kits and birthday cake mixes, among other products.

Traub Capital continues to be interested in more add-ons for the platform company, particularly for holidays during the summer months such as July 4, according to West.

The firm, which targets fitness, health and wellness; and outdoor living and beauty, among other subsectors, invested in Signature in 2018 through its inaugural fund. Traub Capital also owns Mana Products Inc., a private-label manufacturer of prestige beauty and skincare products, which it bought in 2020.

The two investments add up to $400 million in transaction value, according to a statement from Traub Capital in September. The firm, which has $173 million in assets under management, typically targets companies with $50 million to $250 million in revenue for platforms.

Brand Castle looked to Billow Butler & Co. LLC for financial advice and Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP for legal counsel.

Signature Brands, meanwhile, got legal advice from Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

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