Published On: Sat, Jun 2nd, 2018

Kohlberg to acquire Tyson Foods’ Sara Lee and other non-protein businesses

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Food acquisition news : Private equity firm Kohlberg & Company has agreed to acquire Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Van’s businesses from US meat processor Tyson Foods for an undisclosed price.

Tyson Foods says that it the transaction is to enable it to expand its focus on its core business.

Included in the latest transaction are the Chef Pierre breakfast and bakery and pies, Bistro Collection of wholesale cakes and desserts and Van’s frozen desserts and waffles brands, and a license to use the Sara Lee bakery brand in selected channels.

Through the transaction with Kohlberg & Company, Tyson Foods is also selling its prepared foods facilities in Tarboro, North Carolina and Traverse City, Michigan along with a sales office in Canada.

The US meat processing company said that 1,160 team members working at the two prepared foods facilities and sales office are likely to retain their roles with the new company.

World headquarters of Tyson Foods, Inc. 2200 Don Tyson Pkwy, Springdale, Arkansas. Image courtesy of Brandonrush/Wikipedia.org.

Commenting on Tyson Foods transaction with Kohlberg & Company, Sally Grimes, Group President, Prepared Foods at Tyson Foods, said: “These are great assets with outstanding team members; however, we’re focused on expanding Tyson Foods’ leadership position in protein.

“We believe these brands and facilities will do well as part of Kohlberg, which has extensive experience buying and growing businesses.”

Kohlberg has joined forces with C.J. Fraleigh, a former CEO of Sara Lee – North America, who will be made as executive chairman upon closing of the transaction to take the acquired businesses forward.

Fraleigh said: “With established and iconic brands, including Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, Bistro Collection, and Van’s, this business is well-positioned to continue its historical growth trajectory.

“I look forward to working with the company’s employees to execute on growth opportunities we’ve identified and continue providing customers with excellent service, innovation and consistently high quality products.”

Seth Hollander, Partner of Kohlberg, added: “Kohlberg’s partnership with C.J., along with our depth of experience with food investments, creates an excellent opportunity to drive growth and value creation for all stakeholders.”

It was in last April that Tyson Foods announced its intentions to offload three non-protein businesses as part of its strategic focus on protein-packed brands. Out of these, the US meat processor in February 2018 completed sale of its Kettle Collection business, which makes soups, cooking sauces, appetizer dips, and side dishes, for $125 million to Ireland-based Kerry Group.

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