Highlander Selling Bettera Brands For $1B

Dallas — Highlander Partners has entered into an agreement to sell Bettera Holdings, LLC, parent company of Bettera Brands, to Catalent, Inc. for $1 billion. Bettera was formed through the purchase of various confectionery companies beginning in 2017, including Hillside Candy Co., Gimbal Brothers, LLC, Queen City Candy, Inc., and various brands such as Jolly Rancher, Payday, Whoppers, Heath, Milk Duds, Good & Plenty, Zero and Good & Fruity, which it licenses to The Hershey Co., as well as the Sixlets and Chuckles brands, which are also licensed. Bettera maintains four manufacturing operations in California, Virginia, New Jersey and Indiana.

As a global innovator of softgel and oral technologies, Catalent has a strong, long-standing presence in the rapidly expanding consumer health and nutraceutical marketplace, according to Dr. Aris Gennadios, president of softgel and oral technologies at the company. “This acquisition allows us to significantly accelerate the growth of our consumer health business and offer customers access to the substantial potential in gummies, soft chews, and lozenges, which are all experiencing double-digit growth,” he adds.

“In 2017, we started with a simple investment thesis of creating manufacturing capabilities around fortified/functional products in consumer-preferred formats,” states Jeff L. Hull, president and CEO of Highlander Partners. “As consumers have become increasingly health-conscious, functional products in gummi, soft chew, and lozenge delivery forms have developed and grown to become a significant part of the market. Given the substantial advances in delivery technologies, along with the increased health awareness, consumers are embracing these experiential formats as part of their everyday wellness routine.”

Jeff Partridge, a partner with Highlander who also served as Bettera’s CEO, adds: “We identified a need early on and quickly assembled assets and a management team to capitalize on the demand and growth. Developing certified facilities, maintaining strict compliance standards, and creating highly technical research and development capabilities was not an easy task. It is very gratifying to see the business that Bettera has evolved into, and we believe Catalent is the right company to take this business to the next level.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021.