BDO Capital Advises on Sale of Kilwins

Boston, MA – March 13, 2023 – BDO Capital Advisors, LLC (BDO Capital) is pleased to announce the sale of Kilwin’s Quality Confections, Inc. and Kilwins Chocolates Franchise, Inc. (together, Kilwins or the Company) to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. BDO Capital served as exclusive financial advisor to Kilwins on this transaction, which builds on the firm’s experience working with entrepreneur-owned companies in the consumer, food & retail, and restaurant franchisor sectors. Bob Snape, President, and Eric Higgins, Managing Director, led the client engagement for BDO Capital.

Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, Kilwins is a leading franchisor, retailer, manufacturer and distributor of premium quality chocolate, ice cream and confectionary products. Robin and Don McCarty, the majority owners of Kilwins since 1979, will retain an ownership interest. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Kilwins has a proud heritage of combining quality-first products with superior customer service to create an industry-leading chocolate, ice cream and confectionary experience. Kilwins strives to engage customers with its wide variety of premium, handcrafted products, delivered in a novel store format that utilizes traditional and time-honored production methods. The Company currently operates over 150 locations across 25 states, the majority of which are franchised operations. 

Andrew Schwartz, a Partner at LLCP, said, “Kilwins has an incredible brand proposition, a compelling product portfolio, and a loyal customer base. We are strong believers in the long-term potential of Kilwins and are excited to work closely with the Company’s management team to accelerate growth through continued franchise expansion, new channel opportunities, and additional product innovation.”

Don McCarty said, “It has been a joy for Robin and I to have been a part of this Company for the last 43 years. Our caring, loyal franchisees are the basis of our long-term success, and the Kilwins team has made incredible products, built an exceptional platform and has successfully created meaningful and lasting experiences for our customers. As we look to the Company’s future, we are confident that LLCP has the resources and franchise experience to lead Kilwins in its next phase of growth, and will provide dynamic, thoughtful, and strong customer focus and leadership.”

LLCP is a leading private equity investor in the Franchisor & Multi-unit sector, having invested in more than 25 brands through its history. These include food-related businesses such as Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and Global Franchise Group.

Kilwins is the third platform investment of LLCP Lower Middle Market Fund III, L.P.

Honigman LLP and Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal counsel to LLCP on the transaction.

Kilwins was advised by BDO Capital Advisors, LLC and Varnum LLP.