Business Strategies

Hillshire to Acquire Van's Natural Foods

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Apr 21, 2014

The Hillshire Brands Co. today (April 21) revealed an agreement to buy Van’s Natural Foods from private equity firm Catterton Partners. Hillshire will pay $165 million for Van’s, which is expected to have net revenues of approximately $60 million in calendar year 2014. The transaction is expected to close in May.

Van’s Natural Foods, based in Phoenix, makes "simple/clean-ingredient" products in the frozen breakfast and snack categories, including waffles, pancakes, cereal, crackers and snack bars.

“The Van’s brand is a terrific addition to our portfolio,” said Sean Connolly, president/CEO of Chicago-based Hillshire. “Not only does it expand our presence in the frozen category, it also gives us a proven health and wellness brand with extendability beyond frozen.”

Van’s also fits in well with Hillshire's efforts in the breakfast category, where the bigger processor has the Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm brands. Van's management will continue to lead the business; presumably that will include CEO Eric Kufel.