Gimbal's candy
In connection with Bettera’s formation, Highlander has acquired Gimbal Brothers.

DALLAS — Highlander Partners, L.P., a middle-market private investment firm based in Dallas, has formed Bettera Brands, L.L.C., a new holding company headquartered in San Francisco.

According to Highlander, Bettera was created to execute a “buy and build” strategy in the confection and snack industry, targeting acquisitions of companies and assets that have “excellent brand equity and strong growth potential.”

As the majority shareholder of Bettera, Highlander Partners said it is committed to providing significant capital to Bettera to facilitate its growth organically and through acquisitions. Highlander manages its proprietary capital and more than $1.2 billion in capital dedicated to private equity investments.

Hillside Candy Co.
Highlander said it will fold its Hillside Candy company into the Bettera business.

In connection with Bettera’s formation, Highlander has acquired Gimbal Brothers, L.L.C. Founded in 1898, Gimbal’s is a manufacturer of gummy vitamins and gourmet jelly beans with distribution across North America. The company has fully integrated manufacturing capabilities, and its production facility is SQF Level 3, NSF/CFR111 certified for vitamins and dietary supplements.

In addition to the acquisition of Gimbal’s, Highlander said it will fold its Hillside Candy company into the Bettera business. Hillside makes a variety of organic, sugar-free and traditional confection products under the GoOrganic, GoLightly, Hillside Sweets and Pick Your Color brands.

“As a result of attractive market dynamics, diverse product offerings and solid operational strength, Gimbal’s has experienced strong financial performance that will continue under the Bettera umbrella," said Estle Kominowski, former chief operating officer of Gimbal’s and newly-appointed chief executive officer of Bettera. "The combined product offering will enhance the company’s success in further penetrating current customers while adding new ones and positions the company for exceptional performance in the future.”

Jeff Hull, Highland Partners
Jeff Hull, chairman of Bettera and president of Highlander
Jeff L. Hull, the newly-appointed chairman of Bettera and president of Highlander, added, “Highlander’s forte is a ‘buy and build’ strategy in fragmented industries, which we have executed successfully in several categories. Establishing Bettera Brands in conjunction with our acquisition of Gimbal’s shortly after we acquired Hillside will provide a launchpad for additional transactions. This is just the beginning of our long-term vision. We have a robust pipeline of acquisition opportunities that will complement Bettera’s offerings and enhance the company’s position in the market. Just like the transactions completed to date, we will be looking for quality businesses with strong confection and snack brands, exceptional consumer loyalty, a history of innovation and defensible margins. We firmly believe that Bettera’s strong management team together with Highlander’s expertise and significant capital will allow us to build a very special company in the confection and snack space.”