ACE Bakery is a leading Canadian producer of fresh and par-baked artisan breads. The company’s products are branded and sold through leading grocery retailers in Canada and the U.S. Midwest.
Prior to making this investment, Birch Hill had developed an investment thesis that targeted growing Canadian, niche branded-product companies with expansion potential to the U.S. We followed ACE Bakery for four years and determined that the company was a close match.
In 2005, with growth capital becoming a challenge, the owners of ACE Bakery entered into sale negotiations with Birch Hill rather than pursue an auction. Birch Hill offered the best opportunity to drive growth in the business and eventually purchased a 63% ownership stake from the two founders of ACE.
ROI – After the ownership interest was purchased, Birch Hill and the founders significantly upgraded the company’s management team and focused heavily on growth. The new management team successfully expanded into the U.S. and grew sales by 68% during Birch Hill’s two and half years of ownership. Birch Hill and the founders exited in 2008.