LOS ANGELES — Private equity firm Nexus Capital Management LP on Jan. 31 closed its acquisition of the R.W. Knudsen and TruRoots businesses from Orrville, Ohio-based J.M. Smucker Co. The transaction, which is valued at $110 million, also includes a licensing agreement for Santa Cruz Organic beverages as well as the company’s manufacturing and distribution facilities in Chico, Calif., and Havre de Grace, Md.
The transaction did not include Santa Cruz Organic nut butters, fruit spreads, syrups or applesauce.
“With the close of this transaction, we are now able to increase our focus and resources on supporting our core brands to deliver continued growth,” said Tina Floyd, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Foods. “We are confident in the continued momentum of our consumer foods strategy and excited about the opportunities to build on our leadership position.”
The combined assets had sales of approximately $140 million in the fiscal year ended April 30, 2021, according to J.M. Smucker.
R.W. Knudsen is a manufacturer of fruit and vegetable juices. TruRoots is a processor of grain-, bean- and seed-based products.
J.M. Smucker said it expects the divestiture to be dilutive to its adjusted earnings per share by approximately 15¢ on a full-year basis, reflecting the foregone profit related to the natural and organic beverages and grains businesses, before factoring in any potential benefit from the use of net proceeds from the sale.
Damian Giangiacomo, partner at Nexus, said the firm believes in both brands’ legacy as well as their ability to grow as independent companies. He said the companies will be guided by a management team led by Bobby Chacko as chairman and chief executive officer.
Mr. Chacko most recently was CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries. He also has held leadership roles at Coca-Cola Co. and Mars, Inc.
“Bobby is a dynamic CPG executive with a successful track record of generating strong innovation and growth,” said Daniel Flesh, partner at Nexus. “His leadership and expertise will be critical as we develop this new plant-based consumer platform.”
This is the second transaction between the two companies. Nexus Capital Management acquired the Natural Balance pet food business from Smucker for $50 million in 2020.Nexus Capital Management has a diverse range of companies in its portfolio. Other businesses the company has invested in includes Acosta Sales and Marketing, FTD, Savvas Learning Co., Sky Organics and others.