Hearthside Food Solutions (“Hearthside”) has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Greencore USA, a producer of refrigerated, fresh-made sandwiches, entrees, and salad kits. This transaction marks a significant step in the further growth and development of Hearthside’s network. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Greencore USA is the US unit of Greencore Group plc, an Ireland-based public company. Greencore USA operates 13 locations across North America, with 3,500 employees, and 2017 revenues of $1.4 billion.

Hearthside was acquired in May 2018 by Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group on behalf of their clients. Greencore USA, prior to being purchased by Greencore Group PLC, was known as Peacock Foods and was owned by Charlesbank from 2010-2016. The equity for this transaction will be provided by Charlesbank and Partners Group, each of which has reserved significant incremental capacity to continue to invest organically and through acquisition in the Hearthside platform.

The Greencore USA acquisition expands and diversifies the Hearthside network to 38 production facilities in the US and Europe.

“Consumer choice is driving growth in frozen, refrigerated and fresh sandwiches/entrees, where Greencore USA is a recognized leader. Leading brands are expanding into these categories and are seeking additional value chain services. The acquisition of Greencore USA will expand our production, innovation, and R&D capabilities across these categories,” said Rich Scalise, Hearthside chairman and CEO.

“The synergies and complementary strengths of Hearthside and Greencore USA are impressive. Both serve the world’s premier food companies, and both are known for and committed to lean, world-class manufacturing, setting high standards for quality, safety, and speed-to-market. Both companies are also committed to innovation and exemplary customer service, possessing complementary category expertise and capabilities. The combination of the two companies will generate exciting new product and service opportunities for their customers,” said Chris Russell, managing director, Partners Group.

“The Greencore USA acquisition will expand Hearthside’s position in high-growth categories and broaden capabilities for existing and new customers, while further scaling operations. We are excited about the considerable synergies in culture, fundamental strategy, and operating principles,” said Ryan Carroll, managing director at Charlesbank. “These companies share a commitment to making excellent products and building deep, long-term relationships with the world’s leading brands, as evident in their investments in world-class manufacturing, quality, safety, innovation and, most importantly, people. We are thrilled to work with the Greencore USA team again and to welcome them to the Hearthside family.”

HSBC and Barclays served as financial advisors to Hearthside on this transaction. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal advisor to Hearthside, Charlesbank and Partners Group on the transaction.