PARAMUS, N.J. — Smart Balance, Inc., maker of spreads, peanut butter, popcorn, cooking oils and dressings, has acquired Importations DE-RO-MA from Claridge, a Montreal-based investment firm, for $66.3 million. The acquisition includes Glutino Food Group, a Laval, Que.-based maker and marketer of gluten-free foods sold under the Glutino and Gluten Free Pantry brands. Glutino, which had sales of $53.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, makes gluten-free snack foods, frozen baked goods, frozen entrees and baking mixes.
“We are truly excited about adding the Glutino Food Group to our portfolio of health and wellness brands,” said Stephen Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of Smart Balance. “Glutino has increased its sales approximately 30% annually over the past three years, and we are confident about its growth prospects and contribution to Smart Balance. The demand for gluten-free products is significant and is now a category of over $2 billion in retail sales. We are bullish on the continuation of the category’s 10% compound annual growth rate due to increased awareness and diagnosis of gluten-induced ailments, including celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies.”