Wind Point Acquires Shearer’s Foods
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Wind Point Acquires Shearer’s Foods

Wind Point Partners has signed an agreement to acquire Shearer’s Foods, a producer of private label salty snacks. Wind Point is partnering with C.J. Fraleigh, who is joining Shearer’s as Chairman and CEO. Mr. Fraleigh, who most recently served as CEO of Sara Lee – North America, has 25 years of experience in consumer products. The transaction is expected to close in October.

Shearer’s is the largest producer of private label salty snacks in North America and the largest producer of kettle cooked potato chips in the world. Shearer’s produces a wide range of salty snack products including kettle and traditional potato chips, tortilla chips, rice crisps, whole grain chips, cheese curls and other extruded products, which it offers in a variety of flavors and packaging sizes. Shearer’s manufactures both branded and private label snacks for retailers and contract manufactures snacks for the nation’s largest branded snack food companies. The company operates five manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Texas, Oregon and Virginia and is base in Brewster, OH (www.shearers.com).

“I’m very excited to be joining the team at Shearer’s,” said Mr. Fraleigh. “With the growth of private label brands and the trend toward outsourcing for branded food companies, Shearer’s is well-positioned to continue its historical growth trajectory. I look forward to working with the company’s 1,850 employees to execute on growth opportunities we’ve identified and continue providing Shearer’s customers with excellent service and consistently high quality products.”

“Wind Point’s partnership with C.J. – a top caliber CEO in the food industry – along with our depth of experience with food investments, creates an excellent opportunity to drive growth at Shearer’s,” said Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point. “We are confident that we will create value through initiatives such as introducing a proactive strategic selling effort, leveraging Shearer’s proven ability to innovate and implementing continuous improvement programs. We are excited to work with C.J. and the management team to continue the Shearer’s success story.”

Wind Point Partners invests from $20 to $70 million of equity in companies with revenues from $100 to $500 million and EBITDAs of at least $8 million. Industries of interest include business services, consumer products, healthcare and industrial products. The firm has approximately $2.5 billion in capital under management and is located in Chicago, IL (www.wppartners.com).

Wind Point currently holds four additional food-focused investments – Hearthside Food Solutions, Nonni’s, Rupari Foods and Ryt-way Industries. Wind Point’s former food investments include Toronto-based Santa Maria Foods (sold to Sofina Foods in April 2012) and Bakery Chef.

© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 8-27-12

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