“We are proud of the brand and distinctive market positioning that we and the Van’s management team have created over the past few years,” said Marc Magliacano, a Partner at Catterton. “This transaction is a win for all parties involved and we are confident and excited that under Hillshire’s ownership Van’s will continue to experience significant growth and capitalize on new opportunities.”
Van’s is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of branded, all-natural breakfast and snack products including waffles, pancakes, cereal, crackers and snack bars. Van’s frozen breakfast and snack foods are available at grocery stores, mass merchandise stores and natural food retailers nationwide. The company is headquartered in Phoenix (www.vansfoods.com).
Van’s Natural Foods will become part of Hillshire Brands’ Retail segment, pairing with well-known brands such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park. Van’s Natural Foods’ management will continue to lead the business. Van’s is expected to have net revenues of approximately $60 million in calendar year 2014.
“As a leader in branded foods including breakfast products, Hillshire Brands is an ideal strategic partner for Van’s,” said Eric Kufel, CEO, Van’s Natural Foods. “Our positioning in the large and growing wellness consumer lifestyle segment is a perfect complement to Hillshire Brands’ product portfolio. We are pleased to have worked with Catterton, which helped drive our significant growth and market expansion into multiple new categories. I am truly excited to be joining with Hillshire and beginning the next phase of Van’s growth journey.”
Catterton Partners focuses exclusively on the consumer industry and invests in all major segments including food and beverage; retail and restaurants; consumer products and services; and media and marketing services. Catterton was founded in 1989 and has more than $4 billion in capital under management. The firm is located in Greenwich, CT (www.cpequity.com).
The Hillshire Brands Company (NYSE: HSH) is a producer of branded foods. The company’s product portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells, Gallo Salame and Golden Island premium jerky. The company generated approximately $4 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2013, has more than 9,000 employees, and is based in Chicago (www.hillshirebrands.com).
“The Van’s brand is a terrific addition to our portfolio,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer, The Hillshire Brands Company. “Not only does it expand our presence in the frozen category, it also gives us a proven health and wellness brand with extendability beyond frozen.”
Centerview Partners served as financial advisor and Stinson Leonard Street served as legal advisor to Hillshire Brands. Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher served as legal advisor to Van’s in connection with the transaction.
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 4-21-14