DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Hearthside Food Solutions has reached an agreement to acquire Greencore USA, the US subsidiary of Dublin, Ireland-based Greencore Group PLC, for $1,075 million.
Headquartered in Downers Grove, Greencore USA operates 13 locations in North America, employing 3,500 and generating revenues of about $1.4 billion. The company entered the United States in 2008 and produces a range of fresh, frozen and ambient products, including sandwiches, meal kits and salad kits.
With the acquisition, Hearthside expands its network to 38 production facilities in the United States and Europe.
“Consumer choice is driving growth in frozen, refrigerated and fresh sandwiches/entrees, where Greencore USA is a recognized leader,” said Richard G. Scalise, chairman and CEO of Hearthside. “Leading brands are expanding into these categories and are seeking additional value chain services. The acquisition of Greencore USA will expand our production, innovation and R&D capabilities across these categories.”
Hearthside was acquired earlier this year by an investment group led by Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Hearthside is the largest independent bakery in the United States, producing a variety of nutrition bars, cookies, cereals, baked foods and snacks at 25 manufacturing facilities across the United States and Europe.
“The synergies and complementary strengths of Hearthside and Greencore USA are impressive,” said Ryan Carroll, managing director at Charlesbank, he added that the acquisition of Greencore USA will expand Hearthside’s position in high-growth categories and broaden capabilities for existing and new customers.
“We are excited about the considerable synergies in culture, fundamental strategy and operating principles,” Carroll said.
Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore, said the company believes the proposed sale of its US operation represents “a compelling and immediate realization of value for Greencore’s shareholders.”
Chris Russell, managing director of Partners Group said, “Both serve the world’s premier food companies, and both are known for and committed to lean, world-class manufacturing, setting high standards for quality, safety and speed to market. Both companies are also committed to innovation and exemplary customer service, possessing complementary category expertise and capabilities. The combination of the two companies will generate exciting new product and service opportunities for their customers.”
“We have always had a firm conviction on the underlying value and growth prospects of our US business and believe that this offer fully reflects that,” Coveney said. “Looking ahead, we are confident that we can deliver further growth and returns in the dynamic UK market. The proposed transaction would enhance our strategic and financial flexibility, which would allow us to build on our industry-leading position in our core UK market whilst also taking advantage of emerging organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”
Greencore USA in August hired Anton Vincent as CEO. Vincent has more than 20 years of experience in the US food manufacturing industry, most recently as president of the US Snacks division at General Mills Inc., a position he held from 2014-16. Earlier, he was president of General Mills’ Frozen Frontier division and president of Baking.