Private equity firm Burlington Capital Partners (BCP), an investor in lower middle-market food and manufacturing businesses, acquired Sokol & Company. The transaction was completed in partnership with Sokol’s management and Gladstone Capital.

Founded in 1895 and headquartered in Countryside, IL, Sokol is a SQF Level III certified wet-fill manufacturer of food ingredients and retail-ready food products for U.S. end markets that generate $30 billion in annual spend. Sokol serves a nationwide group of food manufacturers, retail brands and retail grocers and produces sauces, dressings, marinades, glazes, frostings, pastes, ice cream ribbons and bases, fudge, nut butters and fillings in bulk, retail and pouch formats.

The investment will enable Sokol to pursue growth initiatives designed to leverage the company’s expansive manufacturing and packaging capabilities and quality-first operating expertise established over five generations of family management.

BCP, led by partners Michael Baldwin and Tim Novak, who currently serves as fifth generation president of Sokol, effected a unique management-led buyout intended to maintain the family legacy. “It is very exciting that Sokol now has institutional partners capable of accelerating growth while still upholding our culture and values which have persisted for the last 127 years,” Novak said.

“BCP is honored to partner with such a longstanding and reputable company and is excited to invest in growth to leverage Sokol’s excellent production capabilities,” Baldwin said. “Sokol’s flexibility with materials, allergens, ingredients, pack sizes and order sizes positions it well to support emerging trends and innovation demanded in today’s evolving market.”

Gladstone Capital provided both senior debt financing and an equity co-investment in support of the transaction.

“Sokol has a deep history of providing exceptional products through a culture of safety and quality. We are excited to partner with BCP and the Sokol team to accelerate growth and build upon the company’s outstanding reputation,” Andrew Ahlberg, managing director at Gladstone Capital, said.

Fredrikson & Byron and Koley Jessen served as legal counsels to BCP and its investor group.