Houlihan Lokey Advises Lily’s Sweets

Houlihan Lokey’s Consumer, Food & Retail Group is pleased to announce that Lily’s Sweets LLC (Lily’s), a portfolio company of VMG Partners (VMG), has been acquired by The Hershey Company (Hershey). The transaction closed on June 25, 2021.

Founded in 2012 by co-founder Cynthia Tice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lily’s is a high-growth, better-for-you (BFY) confectionery brand. Lily’s low-sugar products include dark and milk chocolate style bars, baking chips, peanut butter cups, and other confection products. Based today in Boulder, Colorado, Lily’s traces its roots to Cynthia’s decision to raise awareness about better-for-you foods by opening Center Foods, a natural foods store in Philadelphia, in 1978. In 2012, Cynthia launched four Lily’s chocolate bars nationally in Whole Foods Market, and today the expanded line of bars, baking chips, and other confections can be found across the country at all key retailers. The brand’s mission is to offer consumers a range of great-tasting, low sugar treats.

VMG Partners is focused on partnering with entrepreneurs and managers to support the growth and strategic development of leading branded consumer product and technology companies. VMG currently invests through its Growth and Catalyst funds. Since its inception in 2005, VMG has provided financial resources and strategic guidance to drive growth and value creation in over 40 companies.

The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people, and enduring commitment to help children succeed. Hershey has approximately 17,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 90 brands around the world that drive more than $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat®, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate's Booty.

This deal represents another successful transaction for Houlihan Lokey in the food and beverage industry.

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