NEW YORK — Hearthside Food Solutions L.L.C., the nation’s largest and fastest-growing independent bakery and full-service contract manufacturer of grain-based food and snack products, has been an active acquirer of several bar makers over the past year. Now, Hearthside itself may be on the block, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Bloomberg on Jan. 11 reported that Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s private equity arm and Vestar Capital Partners are exploring a sale of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Hearthside Food Solutions. If the groups go through with the sale, the transaction could fetch about $2.5 billion, Bloomberg said.
None of the companies involved in the rumored sale have commented publicly about any potential transaction.
Goldman Sachs and Vestar acquired Hearthside Food in 2014 from Wind Point Partners for about $1.1 billion. Hearthside was created in 2009 and has grown rapidly over the past eight years. With the backing of Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, Hearthside acquired a substantial portion of the assets from Roskam Baking Co., based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Then, in May 2010, in a swift, bold move, Hearthside purchased Consolidated Biscuit Co., based in McComb, Ohio, as well as the cereal division of Golden Temple, Eugene, Ore. Hearthside acquired Oak State Products, a privately-held contract manufacturer of cookies, bars and other baked foods in late 2016 and more recently, on Nov. 28, 2017, completed the acquisition of Standard Functional Foods Group Inc. (SFFGI) of Nashville, Tenn.
With the completion of the SFFGI transaction, Hearthside now operates 24 production facilities, including 11 that have bar production capabilities. Three of the company’s production facilities are in Europe.A potential sale of Hearthside would add to an active start to 2018 in the food industry. Earlier this week Post Holdings, Inc. said it will explore strategic alternatives for its private brands businesses. Rumors also have circulated that Ferrero S.p.A. may acquire Nestle S.A.’s U.S. confectionery business for approximately $2.8 billion.