TreeHouse Foods Inc., Oakbrook, IL, plans to acquire Flagstone Foods, a St. Paul, MN-based provider of private-label healthy snacks, one of the fastest-growing, on-trend categories in the food industry. TreeHouse will pay Gryphon Investors, San Francisco, and other shareholders $860 million in cash for the business, subject to an adjustment for working capital.

Following the acquisition, TreeHouse’s pro forma annual sales are expected to approach $3.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) should exceed $450 million. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is expected to be financed through a combination of borrowings under TreeHouse's existing credit facility and a $325 million equity issuance.

Flagstone Foods is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of private-label healthy snacks in North America, and holds the number-one private-label position in the trail mix and dried fruit categories. The company has approximately 1,365 employees and operates two state-of-the-art facilities in Minneapolis and Roberson, NC. Flagstone Foods reported sales of $697 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2013.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about the acquisition of Flagstone Foods," says Sam K. Reed, chairman, president and CEO of TreeHouse Foods. “Flagstone Foods is ideally situated at the intersection of health and wellness, snacking and the perimeter of the store, and represents an attractive new platform for TreeHouse to enter the on-trend, rapidly growing $7.1 billon healthy snacks category.

“Flagstone Foods has also demonstrated a capability to broaden its product offering with existing customers, to expand into new categories through innovation, and to achieve new customer wins. Over the last three years, the company has seen top line growth of 24% per annum as well as meaningful margin expansion, and has a clear strategy in place to continue its growth trajectory.

“In addition, Flagstone Foods has made great strides in partnering with retailers to merchandise healthy snacks along the perimeter of the store, where consumer traffic continues to grow. This initiative creates incremental and highly profitable sales for its retail partners, and has resulted in a three-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of perimeter sales for Flagstone of nearly 50% in the last three years, with little cannibalization of other volume.

"Lastly, we are delighted to welcome Flagstone's CEO Paul Lapadat and his management team to TreeHouse. Paul has done an outstanding job executing upon a clear strategic vision and building a strong culture that we believe will be an excellent fit with the TreeHouse family.”

Source: TreeHouse Foods Inc., PR Newswire