City Capital Ventures Announces the Acquisition of Matt's Cookies
May 5, 2016
Chicago, Illinois, May 5, 2016 – City Capital Ventures, LLC (“City Capital”), a private investment partnership headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Cookie Specialties, Inc. (“CSI”), d/b/a Matt’s Cookies of Wheeling, Illinois. As part of the transaction, CSI has been renamed Matt’s Cookie Company. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1972 by Grant Pierce and operated as a family owned business under the leadership of his sons, Blake and Matt Pierce, “Matt’s Cookies” is a beloved brand that is well-known as a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality, all-natural, delicious soft baked cookies and fig bars. The Company prides itself on its homestyle heritage and simple, clean label ingredients that its customers recognize and appreciate. The sellers, the Pierce family, will continue to be involved in day-to-day operations.
Matt’s new CEO, Mike Halverson, commented “I’ve enjoyed Matt’s Cookies for years and was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Pierce family. Matt’s all-natural cookies and fig bars are exactly what consumers and retailers are looking for today. With over ¼ pound of real chocolate chips in every bag, Matt’s offers consumers a tremendous value. And I’ve learned that just 15 seconds in the microwave and a Matt’s cookie tastes just like they’ve come out of the oven!”
Halverson continued, “City Capital’s long term approach will enable us to grow the Matt’s brand and leverage the Chicago heritage and latent brand equity with a broader group of consumers and retail partners. What’s more, City Capital gives us access to a robust network of CPG advisors with exceptional experience and knowledge of what’s required to grow brands in today’s ingredient-conscious consumer food category.”
“City Capital is excited about partnering with Mike Halverson to support Matt’s next growth phase while maintaining the Company’s rich, long-standing heritage,” said Dan Kipp, Founder and Managing Partner at City Capital who will join the Company’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled that the Company’s new CEO, Mike Halverson, has the ideal background and successful track record needed to lead Matt’s as it prudently expands beyond its core Midwest region.
Further, given our focus on private family capital, we are especially pleased to have transacted with the Pierce family in a fashion that serves their next generation while supporting the business for a new arc of growth and expansion.”
Grant Pierce, CSI’s Founder, said, “My family and I are extremely proud of our 40-year commitment to never compromise on our promise to bake the very best, soft-baked cookie possible. With the expanded leadership of Mike Halverson and City Capital’s resources, more consumers will have the opportunity to enjoy our unique cookies both within and beyond our historical Midwest marketplace.”
This transaction marks the inaugural investment by City Capital. “We are excited with the number of compelling niche investment opportunities we’re uncovering and Matt’s is in many ways the perfect example of our aim to match family capital with a family business”, commented Kipp. “We believe private equity investment will continue to move toward the ‘bespoke’ approach that we employ. Our strategy of investing in businesses, often deemed too small by mainstream private equity and corporate acquirers, and supporting them with large firm strategic resources will serve our investors and operating companies well over our long-term investment horizons.”
About Matt’s Cookie Company
Founded in 1972 as Cookie Specialties, Inc., the newly renamed Matt’s Cookie Company is a beloved and well-recognized brand in the soft cookie category. Over the past forty plus years, Matt’s has made great tasting soft baked cookies and bars with wholesome, high-quality ingredients. Matt’s offers cookies in six different varieties: chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, peanut butter chocolate chip, cranberry walnut, and chocolate chip pecan and premium fig bars in assorted varieties and flavors under the “Zion” label. The Company’s cookies are found in over a thousand grocery and retail outlets ranging from “Supercenters” to local “Mom & Pop” stores. For more information, please visit www.mattscookies.info.