FOOD & RECIPES

Hain Celestial Group divests two brands

CHICAGO — Hometown Food Co., a portfolio company of the private equity firm Brynwood Partners, has acquired Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire brands from the Hain Celestial Group, Lake Success, N.Y., for $15 million. The sale includes a manufacturing plant in Hereford, Texas.

Arrowhead Mills is a manufacturer and marketer of grain-based foods and ingredients. The company primarily competes in the baking and breakfast categories. SunSpire is a manufacturer of baking and confectionery chocolates.

“Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire were pioneers in the organic, non-G.M.O. ingredients space, and we are excited to add these tremendous brands to our portfolio,” said Henk Hartong, chairman and chief executive officer of Brynwood Partners. “This acquisition strengthens our industry position by adding improved capabilities in the better-for-you space that we plan to extend into our other categories.”

Hain Celestial Group management has been focused on improving the profitability of the company’s business in the United States. One strategy has been to divest low-margin and low-growth businesses.

“We are pleased to complete the strategic divestitures of the Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire brands demonstrating the consistent execution of our stated transformational plan to reduce complexity and simplify the brand portfolio,” said Mark L. Schiller, president and c.e.o. of Hain Celestial. “We believe the Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire brands will thrive under new ownership as we focus our future initiatives and investments on areas of our business that better leverage our core competencies to improve our margins, profitability and cash flow generation.”

Under Mr. Schiller’s leadership, the Hain Celestial Group has executed a string of divestments across the portfolio. In August, the company sold the Tilda specialty rice business to Ebro Foods S.A. for $342 million. In July, it divested the Hain Pure Protein business, which includes the Empire Kosher, Kosher Valley and FreeBird poultry brands, to Aterian Investment Partners for $80 million. Also this year, Hain Celestial offloaded the WestSoy tofu, seitan and tempeh businesses to Keystone Natural Holdings.

Hometown Food Co., headquartered in Chicago, operates the portfolio of shelf-stable baking mix brands previously owned by the J.M. Smucker Co. and acquired by Brynwood Partners in 2018. The transaction included Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, White Lily, Jim Dandy and Martha White brands and a 650,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Toledo, Ohio.

Based in Greenwich, Conn., Brynwood Partners owns several food and beverage companies, including Harvest Hill Beverages and Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta.

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