Heartwood’s NativeSeed Expands to Midwest

Heartwood’s NativeSeed Expands to Midwest

Heartwood acquired NativeSeed in March 2023 and the buy of Star Seed is its first add-on acquisition

Star Seed offers over 300 varieties of seeds to seed retailers, distributors, farmers, state and local conservation districts, NGOs, and private landowners.

SOURCE: Getty Images

NativeSeed Group, a portfolio company of Heartwood Partners, has acquired Star Seed, a producer and supplier of conservation and farm seeds.

Star Seed offers over 300 varieties of seeds to seed retailers, distributors, farmers, state and local conservation districts, NGOs, and private landowners. The company’s conservation segment supplies native grasses and wildflower seeds used for land restoration, conservation, and habitat improvement while the farm segment provides seeds for cover crops, forage, and wheat growers.

Source: Star Seed

Star Seed, led by CEO Eric Woofer, who will now join NativeSeed as an executive vice president, is headquartered 270 miles west of Kansas City in Osborne, Kansas.

NativeSeed’s products are used in land reclamation and conservation, and in construction, commercial, and consumer applications. The company’s brand names include Granite Seed, S&S Seeds, Pacific Coast Seed, Kamprath Seed, Bruce Seed and Nature’s Seed. Customers of the company include federal and state government agencies, contractors, hydro-seeders, Fortune 500 corporations, landscape architects, non-governmental organizations, ranchers and small landowners.

NativeSeed is led by CEO Rob Wendell and operates a vertically integrated sourcing and production platform comprised of farming, wildland collection, procurement of native grass, wildflower, and shrub seeds, as well as seed cleaning and conditioning facilities.

Source: Star Seed

NativeSeed is headquartered near Santa Barbara in Carpinteria, California, and operates four seed farms – with 4,000 irrigated acres – including Bruce Seed Farm in Montana, L&H Seed Farm in Washington, Hedgerow Farms in northern California, and S&S Seed Farm in southern California.

The buy of Star Seed provides NativeSeed with additional warm season seed varieties and expands the company’s geographic footprint into the Midwest.

“We are extremely excited to add Star Seed to our portfolio of businesses. Star has built an exceptional reputation as a best-in-class supplier to both the conservation and farm markets,” said Mr. Wendell. “Star Seed is the ideal partner to expand our footprint into the Midwest and offer our customers an even greater breadth and depth of inventory on a just-in-time basis.”

Heartwood acquired NativeSeed in March 2023. “Star Seed is a great addition to the NativeSeed Group portfolio,” said James Sidwa, a partner at Heartwood. “We are pleased to have added another strong brand and energetic management team to the business and look forward to investing in the future growth of the combined business.”

Heartwood invests in United States-based companies that have revenues from $30 million to $400 million and EBITDA between $5 million to $30 million. Sectors of interest include food, agriculture, chemicals, automotive, heavy trucking, packaging, and environmental services.

Heartwood is currently investing through its fourth fund, Heartwood Partners Fund IV LP, which has not yet held a final close but is targeting $700 million of capital. The firm’s third fund, Heartwood Partners III LP, closed with $600 million of capital in September 2020. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based firm was founded as Capital Partners in 1982 and changed its name to Heartwood Partners in September 2020.

© 2024 Private Equity Professional | February 2, 2024

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