August 22/Greenwich, Conn./PRNewswire -- Brynwood Partners VI L.P. announced it acquired St. Paul, Minnesota-based Pearson Candy Company. Terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.

Pearson, previously owned by Larry Hassler and founded over 100 years ago, is a manufacturer and marketer of confectionery brands including Pearson's Salted Nut Roll, Pearson's Mint Patties, Pearson's Nut Goodies and Pearson's Bun. As part of this transaction, Brynwood VI announced the appointment of Michael Keller as president and CEO of the company. Keller will assume the responsibilities of Hassler, who will remain with the company in a consulting capacity during a transition period. Prior to joining Pearson, Keller served as the chief marketing officer of International Dairy Queen.

"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of the Pearson Candy Company and we are excited to attract an executive of Michael Keller's caliber to this opportunity," said Henk Hartong III, chairman, Pearson Candy Company and Senior Managing Partner, Brynwood VI. "Pearson is an iconic confectionery business and is a terrific addition to Brynwood VI's portfolio. We expect Pearson to become a great platform for additional acquisitions in the candy sector. We are grateful to have had the chance to work with Larry Hassler and look forward to continuing to grow the great company that he has built."

"Having owned and operated Pearson since 1985, I am confident that I am leaving the company in good hands with Brynwood VI," said Larry Hassler. "Given Brynwood Partners' experience in the food space, I am confident that Brynwood VI will have great success in enhancing the value of the organization." Minneapolis-based investment banking firm Prestwick Partners represented Hassler on the sale of the company.


From the August 23, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.