Food & Drinks

Private equity firm to buy TreeHouse unit for $950 million

LUXEMBOURG — European private equity firm Investindustrial is expanding its presence in the United States with the acquisition of two businesses, including one deal that is expected to create one of the largest suppliers of private label food products in the world.

First, the investment company has agreed to acquire significant portions of the meal preparation business of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. for approximately $950 million. TreeHouse Foods’ meal preparation portfolio includes center-of-the-store and entree meal items in shelf-stable and refrigerated formats for retail, foodservice and industrial customers. Applications include single-serve coffee, powdered creamer, refrigerated dough, dressings, dips, sauces, dry dinners, hot cereals, pasta, salsas, syrups, pasta sauces, jams and jellies, pickles, and cheese sauces.

The business operates 14 manufacturing facilities ,across the United States, Canada and Italy as well as 19 company-operated distribution centers, and is expected to generate approximately $1.6 billion in revenues in 2022.

Investindustrial said the business will remain headquartered in Chicago.

The meal preparation business is expected to be combined with La Doria, a European manufacturer of private label preserved vegetables, peeled and chopped tomatoes, fruits juices and pasta sauces, to create one of the largest suppliers of private label food products in the world, Investindustrial said. Investindustrial acquired La Dorie in October 2021.

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“We are delighted to add the divisions of TreeHouse Foods’ meal preparation business to our portfolio of leading private label food companies,” said Andrea C. Bonomi, chairman of the industrial advisory board at Investindustrial. “We understand that success in the food business requires us to provide our customers with the best service as well as high-quality products at a great value. With this acquisition, we will build on our reputation as an industry leader in customer excellence while continuing to improve service levels, product development, and operational efficiencies.”

The announcement comes two days after executives at Oak Brook, Ill.-based TreeHouse reasserted their intention to divest a “significant portion” of the meal preparation business segment in favor of its snacking and beverage unit. The company first announced its intent to explore options for the divestment of the meal preparations business unit in March, which followed a strategic review that began in November 2021.

“Investindustrial is the right partner for our industry-leading meal preparation business,” said Steven T. Oakland, president and chief executive officer of TreeHouse. “Their conviction in the opportunity that lies ahead for meal preparation is a testament to the strength of that business, its robust private label categories and the teams that support it. We look forward to seeing the business thrive well into the future.”

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Investindustrial also announced it has acquired Parker Food Group from The Riverside Co. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Parker Food Group develops and manufactures specialty, value-added ingredients in the North American market, with a focus on inclusions and toppings.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Parker Food Group’s portfolio includes baked inclusions, toppings, crumbs/streusels, pralines and cookie components that are sold to industrial branded business-to-consumer customers, foodservice clients and industrial business-to-business customers. The company employs 370 at three manufacturing facilities located in Mexico, Mo.; Perry, NY; and Fort Worth.

Investindustrial said it plans to fold Parker Food Group into its broader group of food ingredients companies, including CSM Ingredients (acquired in April 2021), Hi-Food and Italcanditi.

“Our extensive experience in the food ingredients sector and our track record of growing our portfolio companies, makes us the perfect steward for a new, exciting and more global chapter in PFG’s development,” Mr. Bonomi said. “We are building an IngredientTech platform with the vision to create unique and innovative solutions for the food industry. PFG will become part of and contribute to our family of existing ingredients investments with CSM Ingredients, Hi-Food and Italcanditi.”

Gregg Hodder, CEO of Parker Food Group, added, “With strong experience in the sector, Investindustrial is our partner of choice and with its help as a responsible investor and sector specialist, we look forward to accelerating PFG’s growth and entering into new markets.”

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