Bazooka’s $700 Million Bubble

Iconic bubble gum and candy company will sell to UK-based private equity firm.

August 21, 2023

Bazooka, a 75-year-old company, is reported to have sold to Apax Partners, a global buyout firm based in the United Kingdom, for $700 million.

Current owner, former Disney executive Michael Eisner, bought the candy company—formerly known as Topps Chewing Gum—in 2007 for $385 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Topps was founded in 1938 and created its iconic bubblegum after World War II. The candy company was known for adding free baseball cards in packs of gum; the company began offering baseball cards for sale separately in 1951, thus establishing Topps as a trading-card business as well.

Eisner intended to take Topps public in 2021, but due to licensing agreement issues with Major League Baseball and online-sports merchandise retailer Fanatics, the deal fell through and set the stage for Eisner selling Topps’ trading-card division to Fanatics in 2022 for $500 million, as reported by USA Today.

Under Eisner’s ownership, Topps Chewing Gum became Bazooka Candy Brands after the separation of the company’s assets. The candy brand markets and distributes sweets such as Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, Juicy Drop and Bazooka Bubble Gum.

According to the Journal, Apax “invests across Europe, Asia and North America, focusing on the internet and consumer sectors, as well as technology, services and healthcare.”

The packaged sweet snacks category has seen steady growth, as NACS Daily reported.

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