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Kenex Holdings Acquires Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, Inc.

Kenex Holdings, a Chicago-based investment holding company, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, Inc., an Aiea, Hawaii-based manufacturer of mochi ice cream.

Bubbies was founded in 1985 by category pioneer, Keith Robbins, and has since grown into the leading manufacturer of premium mochi ice cream in the United States. Bubbies also has a significant international footprint with distribution into France, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Robbins will remain a significant investor in Bubbies and will retain his unofficial title as "Mr. Bubbie" at industry trade shows moving forward. 

Robbins commented, “Kenex is the perfect fit with Bubbies' culture and this partnership will allow Bubbies to continue to grow and spread joy and peace through mochi. I believe this transaction will benefit our staff and our customers--a paramount goal of mine as I begin to transition into retirement. I am thankful that Kenex shares my passion for the product and vision for Bubbies so that the company can perpetuate its vision and goals.”  

Additionally, Kenex has partnered with a group of industry experts, headlined by Rick Schaffer, who will join Bubbies as CEO. Schaffer was most recently the VP of Retail Sales at Grecian Delight, a marketer and manufacturer of Greek and Mediterranean food products in the United States. Prior to Grecian Delight, Schaffer served as the VP of Sales for Inventure Foods’ frozen fruit division and the VP of Sales & Marketing at Tribe Mediterranean Foods. 

Nick Kuneman, a Partner at Kenex, commented, “We are excited to acquire Bubbies and invest in the next phase of its growth. Keith has built a phenomenal company and brand that possesses a product that is second-to-none in the market. Kenex has a proven strategy of working with family-owned companies to navigate leadership transition. With Rick's leadership, we have built out a team of active operators and managers as well as an experience-rich advisory board that will foster continued growth and success.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this great organization,” commented Rick Schaffer. “I look forward to working with the Bubbies team as we build upon the world-class organization Keith has so diligently assembled. Bubbies' products and reputation are an ideal foundation as we position ourselves for growth."

Kenex is an active investor in the food industry. This is Kenex's second platform investment in the frozen sector (Imperial Frozen Foods, 2014).

Financing for the transaction was provided by Tree Line Capital Partners. DLA Piper represented Kenex as legal counsel and RSM provided transaction advisory services on the transaction. Cascadia Capital served as financial advisor to Bubbies and Joyce Ziker Parkinson provided legal counsel.  

For more information, please contact Jake Freeman (jlf@kenexholdings.com) at Kenex Holdings.