Whole Earth Brands has acquired Swerve, a manufacturer of zero-sugar, keto-friendly, and plant-based sweeteners and baking mixes, in a deal worth $80 million.
US-based Swerve’s product portfolio includes zero-calorie, zero-sugar, gluten-free sugar replacements and baking mixes primarily made from GMO-free ingredients such as erythritol and oligosaccharides.
According to Whole Earth Brands, Swerve has an approximate 8.2% share of the natural sugar alternative market in North America and has registered 150% compounded annual revenue growth since 2016.
A statement from Whole Earth Brands claims that the purchase of Swerve will provide it with a stronger position in the high-growth free-from category, stating that the addition of Swerve’s product portfolio will increase Whole Earth’s North American branded consumer packaged goods (CPG) segment’s net sales to $100 million.
Whole Earth Brands was formed earlier this year following a transaction which saw the new firm acquire Merisant Company – a producer of sugar-free and low-calorie sweeteners such as Canderel – and liquorice product manufacturer Mafco Worldwide.
The purchase of Swerve represents the first acquisition made by the firm as a public company following its formation.
Albert Manzone, Whole Earth Brands CEO said: “We are thrilled to announce our first acquisition as a public company. By acquiring Swerve, we’ve added one the fastest growing shelf-stable sweetener brands in North America retail to Whole Earth Brands’ portfolio.
“The transaction fits perfectly with our M&A strategy to invest in, and to accelerate the growth of, our branded consumer packaged goods business in North America. In fact, the addition of Swerve is expected to increase Whole Earth’s North American branded CPG segment net sales to $100m, representing a 10% market share of all sweeteners and making natural sweeteners 65% of Whole Earth’s North American branded CPG sales mix.
“We feel that the transaction is financially sound, aligns closely with our identified strategic objectives, expands our addressable markets, and positions Whole Earth Brands to create additional value for its stockholders.”
Irwin Simon, executive chairman of Whole Earth Brands, added: “It’s exciting to see continued progression in the ‘free-from…’ categories. It’s clear that consumer demand is strong and indicators point to even more upside as the health and wellness trend becomes a market force.”
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