City Capital Advises Bakewise Brands in Sale to Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd.

CHICAGO, IL – July 1, 2016; City Capital Advisors, a highly specialized boutique investment banking firm serving the middle market, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Bakewise Brands, Inc., a leading national producer of fresh, refrigerated and frozen bagels (Fleisher’s Bagels) and artisan bakery products (Tom Cat Bakery), in connection with its sale to Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan). This transaction represents the firm’s 19th deal in the food and agribusiness space since its practice in this sector began.

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Bakewise is a leading national producer of fresh, refrigerated and frozen bagels (Fleisher’s Bagels) as well as fresh and frozen artisan bread products (Tom Cat Bakery).

Fleischer’s is one of the premier New York style bagel producers in the US with over 40 years of industry experience. It currently sells to over 30 large national and retail customers and is well respected in the industry as an established player with longstanding customer relationships. Its manufacturing and delivery capabilities for supplying quality products, as well as developing new recipes using traditional and innovative flavors, have led to retail programs and contract manufacturing for leading grocery retailers and national brands. Bagels, which were popularized in the East Coast particularly in New York, have become a daily staple for US consumers and the market continues to grow as people become more health conscious.
Bakewise also produces and distributes 400 types of handcrafted premium artisan breads through its subsidiary Tom Cat Bakery, Inc. (“Tom Cat”). As the largest artisan bakery in New York City, Tom Cat is an iconic brand in the New York artisan bread scene developed through 30 years of delivering quality products to the City’s leading restaurants and landmark hotels. Through its strong brand recognition, it now serves fresh bread to over 1,000 upscale casual and fine dining, chains, foodservice, specialty retailers in the New York metro area and frozen artisan breads to customers in 17 states outside New York.

Acquiring Bakewise will contribute to further developing Yamazaki’s bagel and artisan bread business, as well as expanding its US customer base, by providing premium bakery products through collaboration with Yamazaki’s Vie de France business in the US, which has manufactured and developed frozen dough products for over 20 years. Yamazaki acquired all of the outstanding shares of Bakewise, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary within its Overseas Divisional Group, in an all cash transaction. Bakewise was majority owned by private equity firms Merit Capital (Chicago) and Ancor Capital (Dallas). Bakewise management is to remain in place and will continue to run the business for Yamazaki.

About Yamazaki

Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd. distributes its premium bakery products manufactured by its specialized baking technologies developed over the years in both Japan and overseas markets. In the US, where consumer diversity, innovation and growth are second to none, Yamazaki established Vie de France Yamazaki Inc. in April 1991 to expand its bakery products business especially in the area of frozen bread dough. It also has multiple in-store bakery operations in the growing Asian region and a wholesale bakery business in Indonesia.

About City Capital Advisors

City Capital Advisors, a FINRA registered broker-dealer, is a results-oriented investment banking advisory firm. Each of City Capital’s Managing Directors has more than 20 years of investment banking experience, offering clients the judgment and transaction management expertise honed from successfully executing more than $60 billion of collective merger and capital market transactions. Client engagements are managed exclusively by experienced senior investment bankers, allowing business owners to capture maximum value for their companies and to exceed shareholder objectives.