Framingham, Mass. — Yesterday, Whole Earth Brands, Inc. (the “Company”) (Nasdaq: FREE), announced the acquisition of all of the outstanding equity interests of Swerve, L.L.C. and Swerve IP, L.L.C (collectively, “Swerve”), a rapidly growing manufacturer and marketer of a portfolio of zero sugar, keto-friendly, and plant-based sweeteners and baking mixes.
Swerve is the manufacturer and marketer of the “Ultimate Sugar Replacement” and provides a key growth platform for Whole Earth Brands to expand its existing offerings in the alternative better-for-you sweetener space and fits well within Whole Earth’s existing sweetener portfolio. Swerve has strong brand equity in the United States and is beloved by health-conscious consumers and bakers.
Swerve is easy to use as a sugar alternative because it measures cup-for-cup with sugar, caramelizes like sugar, has a clean taste and is generally considered safe for diabetics because, as compared to sugar, it does not cause as extreme of blood sugar spikes, and is made primarily from clean natural GMO-free ingredients with no artificial preservatives. The sugar substitutes category has become increasingly important as consumers become more focused on health and wellness.
“Our experience working with Whipstitch Capital was terrific,” said Andress Blackwell, who was the CEO of Swerve prior to the sale. “They stayed with us and on us. Nick, Mike, Dom and Brendan became part of the Swerve family while working together.”
“Early on during the process, the entire Whipstitch team kept saying the same thing – Andress rocks – she has an amazing grasp of the product, company and category,” said Dominic Mangano, VP at Whipstitch. Nicolas McCoy, Whipstitch Co-Founder and Managing Director added, “The Swerve team has built significant brand equity and executed an aggressive growth plan very well over the past few years.” “We look forward to the time when we can travel back to New Orleans to be with Rick, Andress and the Swerve team and all celebrate properly!” added Michael Burgmaier, Whipstitch Co-Founder and Managing Director.
“By acquiring Swerve, we’ve added one the fastest growing shelf stable sweetener brands in North America retail to Whole Earth Brands’ portfolio. This deal represents a significant opportunity to create value for Whole Earth Brands with compounded annual revenue growth of approximately 150% since 2016,” stated Albert Manzone, Whole Earth Brands Chief Executive Officer.
Whipstitch Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor and the Giannuzzi Group acted as legal advisor to Swerve. Nomura acted as the financial advisor and DLA Piper acted as legal advisor to Whole Earth Brands.
About Whipstitch Capital
Whipstitch Capital is the largest independent private investment bank in the U.S. solely focused on better-for-you consumer sector, specializing in sell-side, buy-side M&A and private placements. Whipstitch understands that every situation, every company and product is unique. We listen. We focus. We provide honesty and transparency. We make deals happen. We create the ‘whipstitch’ of the deal. Get ready to Deal Different.
About Whole Earth Brands
Whole Earth Brands is a global platform of branded products and ingredients focused on the consumer transition towards healthier lifestyles, such as free from sugar, natural solutions, plant-based and clean label. Whole Earth Brands Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of zero/low sugar and calorie sweeteners as well as reduced sugar products with brands including Whole Earth®, Swerve®, Pure Via®, Equal®, and Canderel®. The Company’s branded product line Magnasweet® offers versatile masking agents, sweetness intensifiers and extenders and flavor enhancers. The company has a vision to expand its branded portfolio globally through investment opportunities in additional categories, with better for you clean label alternatives in the quest to “Open a World of Goodness®” to consumers and their families.
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