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Goldman buys a bakery in move to make dough


Hearthside Food Solutions sold its 20 manufacturing plants and 150 brands to Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs and the private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners.

Hearthside, previously owned by Wind Point Partners, is said to be the largest independent bakery and contract food manufacturer in North America, offering high quality, grain-based food and snack products for many of the world’s leading premier brands. Hearthside’s product portfolio is focused on four main categories including bars, cookies/crackers, granola/cereals, and snacks. The company said it manufactures more than 150 brands and 1,400 SKUs for its top customers.

“When we launched Hearthside in 2009, we envisioned a company that could transform the contract manufacturing industry,” said Rich Scalise, chairman and CEO of Hearthside. “We have achieved that goal, building an industry leader and a highly successful business in the last five years based on the principles of being fast, flexible and adding more value. Going forward, by leveraging the experience and relationships of both Goldman and Vestar, we are confident we can take the company to the next level of growth in the contract manufacturing industry. We look forward to working with our new partners.”

Vestar is well known investor in the food industry with past investments in companies such as Hain Celestial Seasonings, Michael Foods and Birds Eye. Currently, Vestar’s portfolio includes Del Monte – now Big Heart Pet Brands, the largest pet snack company in U.S., and specialty foods leader Roland Foods.

“Hearthside is not only one of the largest co-manufacturers in the food industry, but also the leader in quality, safety, and innovation. They respond rapidly to industry trends and shifting consumer preferences,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar. “Now more than ever, food companies turn to co-manufacturers like Hearthside to help them initiate and accelerate the commercialization process and for timely response to changing consumer preferences. We are excited to work with Rich and his talented team to take advantage of these positive long-term trends and grow the business.”

Hearthside is headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill.

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