Smucker Ships Off Doughboy, Other Brands to Hometown Foods
J.M. Smucker Co. has sold its U.S. baking brand portfolio for $375 million to Hometown Foods, a new portfolio company wholly owned by investment firm Brynwood Partners.
The acquisition includes the exclusive U.S. rights to sell shelf-stable baking and dessert products under the venerable Pillsbury brand and use of the iconic "Pillsbury Doughboy" character in these categories. Other brands included in the sale are Funfetti, Hungry Jack, White Lily, Jim Dandy and Martha White.
The Hometown Foods operation will be headquartered in Chicago, IL, and involve a 650,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Toledo, OH. The company has hired Daniel Butler as its president and chief executive officer. Most recently CEO of Wilton Brands, Butler previously served 17 years at Kraft Foods in senior level sales, marketing and general management positions.
Also joining the team are Tim Young as chief financial officer, David Meltzer as executive vice president of sales and Dan Anglemyer as chief marketing officer. Young comes from Treehouse Foods, Meltzer from Richelieu Foods and Anglemyer from Back to Nature Foods Co.
Hometown plans to employ 50 people in its Chicago HQ and continues to aggressively build out the team.
"We are pleased to announce the closing of the Hometown Foods transaction and the hiring of an exceptional and experienced executive management team," said Henk Hartong, CEO of Brynwood Partners. "We are excited to have a very talented management team in place at the closing and will be off to a fast start with the new company. We are looking forward to working closely with Dan and his team to bring focus and energy to this business and to execute on our strategy to grow these great brands in the years to come."
Additionally, as we have done so successfully in past portfolio company investments, we will aggressively seek to identify and make add-on acquisitions where they fit our strategy," Hartong said.
"The divestiture reflects our strategy to further focus our portfolio and develop a stronger presence in pet food, coffee, and snacking — all large, growing categories with sustainable growth projections," said Mark Smucker, CEO of the namesake company, when the deal was first announced in July. "Pillsbury, Martha White and Hungry Jack remain iconic brands and, although they no longer align with our strategic priorities, we are confident they will be nurtured at Brynwood. While the decision to divest these brands was difficult, it underscores our commitment to allocating resources toward those areas of the business critical to our growth."
General Mills has owned the rights to sell refrigerated and frozen products under the Pillsbury name since acquiring the brand from Diageo in 2000. It later sold the shelf-stable rights to Smucker.