Whole Earth Brands has entered an agreement to buy North American organic sweetener brand, Wholesome Sweeteners, marking its second acquisition since its merger in June.
The company has made a deal to acquire WSO Investments, the holding company for Wholesome Sweeteners, for an initial price of $180 million.
Founded in 2001, Wholesome produces organic, plant-based and fair-trade certified sweeteners including sugar, honey, agave nectar, allulose and other liquid sweetener products.
The deal will further expand Whole Earth Brand’s existing portfolio of natural and alternative sweeteners, building its platform across the category in North America.
According to Whole Earth Brands, Wholesome holds a 76% share in the organic granulated sugar segment of the organic and natural channel and has registered retail sales growth of approximately 52% over the 52-week period ending 1 November 2020.
Wholesome marks the company’s second strategic acquisition since its business combination in June, following the purchase of Swerve, a manufacturer of zero-sugar, keto-friendly and plant-based sweeteners and baking mixes.
Along with its pending acquisition of Wholesome, Whole Earth Brands says it has created a global platform that is expected to generate proforma revenue of approximate $500 million.
Irwin Simon, executive chairman of Whole Earth Brands, says consumers are demanding more sweetener options that fit within individual health and dietary needs.
“Whole Earth Brands is delivering on that expectation by becoming the leader in plant-based and alternative sweeteners around the world, and we are looking forward to integrating Wholesome and growing the world-class brands within our Whole Earth Brands platform,” he added.
Albert Manzone, Whole Earth Brands CEO, said: “This transaction brings us additional scale that we believe will enhance our competitive position and help us expand consumers’ access to the delicious foods they love.”
Nigel Willerton, CEO at Wholesome Sweeteners, added: “Our extendable brands create opportunities for significant growth through channel, product and category expansion. This combination with Whole Earth Brands brings together like-minded companies with complementary strengths to unlock powerful value in the organic and natural category.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Wholesome will receive $180 million in cash and is eligible to receive up to $55 million of additional consideration under an earnout through the end of calendar year 2021.
The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary approval.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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