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Highlander Partners Acquires Another Confection Company

Dallas / TX. (hlp) Highlander Partners L.P., a leading middle-market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, announced its acquisition, through a newly-formed entity, of substantially all the assets of Queen City Candy Inc. (QCC), a manufacturer of gummy confection products located in Greendale, Indiana. Founded in 1983, QCC expanded in 2015 into a state-of-the-art production facility with a newly-installed high-speed mogul and robust drying capabilities. The business presently manufactures gummies, jellies and fruit snacks. QCC produces both pectin and gelatin-based products and is SQF Level II certified.

Highlander continues to make investments in the confection industry. Most recently, Highlander acquired the trademark portfolio of ten iconic confection brands from Huhtamäki Oyj. Additionally, in the past two years Highlander has also acquired Gimbal’s, a leading manufacturer of gourmet jelly beans and gummy vitamins, and Hillside Candy, a leading manufacturer of organic, sugar-free and nutraceutical confections.

In connection with this transaction, Jeff L. Hull, President and Managing Partner of Highlander, commented, «We are excited about our acquisition of QCC. We believe the opportunity in the gummy confection and vitamin space will continue to grow at a significant rate. QCC offers outstanding manufacturing capabilities, with its cutting-edge manufacturing equipment and unique production capabilities. We believe that with Highlander’s resources and in collaboration with Bettera Brands, another Highlander portfolio company, QCC will be able to expand its product offerings and enter new markets, further accelerating the Company’s growth. QCC’s capabilities extend beyond regular confection products, and we believe that we can capitalize on the industry trends and the uniqueness of the Company’s assets while pursuing gummy vitamin and other confection and wellness strategies over the next few years.»

Alex Guiva, Partner at Highlander, added, «We have been very active; this is Highlander’s fourth investment in the confection space in the last two years and this is our third food deal this year. Having closed more than twenty transactions in the food space, we remain fully committed to the food and beverage categories, both finished consumer products and ingredients, and we continue seeking high-quality food businesses that have a strong market position, differentiated offerings and compelling growth opportunities.»

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