Goldman Sachs and Vestar Capital Partners announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to sell Hearthside Food Solutions to an investment group led by Charlesbank Capital Partners, Partners Group (acting on behalf of its clients), and the company's management. Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

Hearthside Food Solutions is the nation's largest and fastest-growing independent bakery and a full-service contract manufacturer of high quality, grain-based food and snack products for many of the world's leading premier brands. Hearthside offers a diverse product portfolio, including nutrition bars, snack bars, cookies, crackers, and other grain-based snacks. The company manufactures its products across a network of 25 facilities in the United States and Europe. 

Hearthside grew rapidly under the joint ownership of Goldman Sachs and Vestar. In just under four years, Hearthside completed four acquisitions, entered new categories, and expanded into Europe. 

"Our relationship with Goldman Sachs and Vestar was exceptional," said Rich Scalise, founder, chairman, and CEO of Hearthside. "Their partnership enabled growth, strategic direction and most importantly trust. We are excited about taking those enablers to the next level with Partners Group and Charlesbank as we look to new geographical markets, new categories to enter, and in continuing to make our customers first in everything we do."

"Hearthside has been an exceptional food platform that we identified early and were successful in helping to scale into Europe and across high-growth categories," said Nicole Agnew of Goldman Sachs. "The company has experienced tremendous growth under Rich Scalise's leadership and we wish the company continued success."

"Hearthside's growth over the last four years has exceeded our expectations, thanks in large part to Rich's leadership and his management team," said Brian O'Connor, managing director of Vestar. "Together, we targeted acquisitions that complemented Hearthside's capabilities, expanded into Europe and entered new categories. We are confident Hearthside will continue to prosper under Partners Group and Charlesbank." 

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as the legal advisor to Hearthside, Goldman Sachs and Vestar in this transaction. Barclays and Goldman Sachs served as the financial advisors for the transaction.

Related: The path of continuous improvement at Hearthside Food Solutions