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Highlander Partners Announces Acquisition of Hillside Candy

Dallas, Texas – November 7, 2016 – Highlander Partners, L.P., a leading middle-market private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas, today announced the acquisition of Hillside Candy (“Hillside”).

Founded in 1945, Hillside is a manufacturer and marketer of a broad variety of premium organic, sugar-free and traditional confection products under the GoOrganic, GoLightly, Pick Your Color and Hillside Sweets brands.  Products are sold direct and through distributors to grocery and drugstore chains, mass merchandisers, club stores, gourmet retailers, gift companies and other channels domestically and internationally.  In addition, Hillside’s capabilities include incorporating nutraceutical ingredients into confectionery delivery systems, a growing trend in the nutraceutical space.

GoOrganic is one of the earliest and most successful brands in the organic confection space.  The brand responds to the consumers’ desire for clean ingredients in confectionery treats and offers hard candies in a variety of flavors, including Ginger, Pomegranate, Cherry, Apple, Honey, Honey Lemon, Blood Orange, Iced Mint Mango, Ginger Xtreme, Starlight Mints and Assorted Fruit. In addition, the GoOrganic offerings include Ginger, Strawberry, Raspberry, Sour Apple and Lemon Fruit Chews.  GoOrganic products are available in leading natural, organic and specialty food retailers including: Whole Foods Market, Fresh Market, Natural Grocers, Fairway Market, Wakefern/Shoprite, Wegmans, Stop & Shop, Hannaford’s, Sweet Bay, Earth Fare, Lunds & Byerly’s, Hy-Vee, Sprouts, Mollie Stone’s, New Seasons Market, and other leading stores.

The GoLightly brand is one of the first sugar-free confection brands, which has built a loyal consumer following with its selection of more than 30 unique flavors.  Pick Your Color and Hillside Candy brands offer sugar-based hard candy with more than 20 flavors, serving the needs of specialty retailers and hospitality customers.

Hillside adheres to strict quality guidelines, and its production facility is SQF Level 3 certified, allowing it to serve even most demanding customers.  All of the Company’s products are manufactured in the United States with a focus on no artificial flavors, preservatives or colors. The Company holds organic, kosher and non-GMO certifications.

Ted Cohen, a candy industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, will continue serving as President of Hillside.   Mr. Cohen commented, “I am excited to partner with the Highlander team to continue the growth of the Hillside business. Highlander and its principals have a long history of success in the confection and food industries, and I am looking forward to expanding our company with a partner that brings such deep and relevant experience together with financial resources to our business.”

In connection with Highlander’s acquisition of Hillside, Mr. Alex Guiva, Chairman of Hillside and Partner at Highlander, stated, “GoOrganic and GoLightly are exceptional brands that deliver high-quality, clean label and mouth-watering products.  It is no secret that retailers dedicate more and more shelf space to organic and sugar-free products and these trends are here to stay.  We are excited to partner with a leading organic and sugar-free company in the confection space, and we will continue Hillside’s business strategy of innovation, creativity, flexibility and customer service.  In addition to growing its existing base of business, Hillside will serve as a platform for future strategic acquisitions that will expand our offerings, sales channels and scale.”

HT Capital Advisors, LLC, an independent New York City based investment bank, served as the advisor to Hillside Candy.

About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with over $1.2 billion of assets under management.  The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience, including basic manufacturing, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, building materials, consumer products, and others.  Highlander Partners uses a “buy and build” investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow organically and through acquisitions.  For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com.

About Hillside Candy
Hillside Candy manufactures and markets premium, organic, sugar-free and traditional confection products under the GoOrganic, GoLightly, Pick Your Color and Hillside Candy brands. The Company sells retail and wholesale products in the food, drug, mass, dollar and boutique specialty retail channels.  Additionally, through its SQF Level 3 certified facility, Hillside manufactures premium products for customers in the nutraceutical industry and provides a variety of private label offerings. The company was founded in 1945 and is based in Hillside, New Jersey. For more information about Hillside, please visit www.hillsidecandy.com.