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Danone sells Earthbound Farm to Taylor Farms
Danone SA (Paris, France) is selling Earthbound Farm, its U.S. organic salads business, to family-owned Taylor Farms (Salinas, California), a salads and fresh foods company. Earthbound Farm is one of the largest producers of organic salads in the United States, generating annual sales of about $400 million in 2018. Taylor Farms said it was grateful for the opportunity “to return ownership of this organic fresh produce leader to local roots and family ownership.” Earthbound Farm was founded in 1984 by Drew and Myra Goodman.
Wessanen agrees €885 million offer
Dutch organic food company Royal Wessanen NV (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and a consortium of PAI Partners and Charles Jobson have agreed on a recommended all-cash offer for all shares of Wessanen, representing a total consideration of approximately €885 million ($997.2 million on April 10). As part of an agreed growth strategy, Wessanen will upgrade operations to improve efficiency across its value chain and add scale in core categories and markets through acquisitions. Wessanen brands include Bonneterre, Bjorg, Clipper, Kallo, Whole Earth and Zonnatura.
POST submits draft IPO registration for Active Nutrition
Post (St. Louis, Missouri) has submitted a draft IPO registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Active Nutrition business. The number and price of shares have not yet been determined. Active Nutrition sells ready-to-drink protein shakes, beverages, powders, nutrition bars and supplements under the Premier Protein, Dymatize, PowerBar, Supreme Protein and Joint Juice brands. In FY 2018, the business generated net sales of $827.5 million, an increase of 16% over the prior year. Post anounced in November its plan to spin off the business and sell approximately 20% of the ownership.
Hair brand Nutrafol raises $35 million
Nutrafol (New York, New York), a brand of hair-health supplements, announced $35 million in Series B financing led by L Catterton with participation from existing investor Unilever Ventures. Launched in 2016, Nutrafol addresses the hormonal, environmental and hereditary causes of hair problems using botanicals, vitamins and proprietary nutritional blends. With the latest funding, Nutrafol says it will scale up its personalized system and address deficiencies and imbalances associated with menopause, stress and gut health.
Elvie announces $42 million Series B round for femtech
Elvie (London, United Kingdom), a health and lifestyle technology brand for women, announced a $42 million Series B led by private-equity firm IPGL and supported by Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK. Founded in 2013, Elvie’s first product, Elvie Trainer, is an app-connected Kegel trainer that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor. Last year, the company launched Elvie Pump, a silent wearable breast pump. Elvie’s annual revenue run-rate has tripled over the past six months and is expected to grow another five times this year.
Emmi acquires majority stake in supplier of goat and sheep milk products
Dairy giant Emmi (Lucerne, Switzerland) has taken a 66 percent stake in the organic goat and sheep milk processor Leeb Biomilch GmbH of Austria. Emmi’s goat milk network now includes three processors in the United States (Cypress Grove, Redwood Hill, Jackson-Mitchell/Meyenberg) and three in Europe (Bettinehoeve, Goat Milk Powder, Lácteos Caprinos and AVH Dairy). Leeb Biomilch has around 50 employees and generates annual sales of approximately €15 million ($16.8 million on April 2); it also has a line of vegan milk alternatives under the MyLove-MyLife brand.
Kettle Cuisine expands national presence in fresh soup category
Kettle Cuisine (Lynn, Massachusetts), an artisan producer of refrigerated and frozen natural soups, has acquired Harry’s Fresh Foods (Portland, Oregon), a custom food manufacturing company. The transaction strengthens Kettle Cuisine’s presence as the only coast-to-coast fresh soup producer. Since Kainos acquired Kettle Cuisine in 2015, it has invested more than $300 million to acquire complementary businesses, expand cooking capacity, expand its “from-scratch” bone-broth capabilities and more.
Abattis to acquire Pro Natura
An acquisition subsidiary of the medicinal cannabis company Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) is acquiring Pro Natura BV (Oisterwijk, Netherlands), a nutritional supplement company, from Catalyst Investment Capital Corp. for €6,684,200 ($7.5 million). Pro Natura sells online and via independent distributors, historically generating €10 million-plus ($11.2 million or more) in annual sales, according to a news release. The acquisition will allow Abattis to leverage Pro Natura's distribution network for CBD sales in Europe.
Bubs Australia buys Deloraine Dairy as it prepares for growth in China
Bubs Australia (Frenchs Forest, New South Wales, Australia) is acquiring Australia Deloraine Dairy (Melbourne, Australia), an infant formula producer, for AU$25 million (US$17.8 million on April 2) in cash and AU$10 million (US$7.1 million) in shares. Additional payments of up to AU$15 million (US$10.7 million) could be made during the next three years if the company reaches certain performance targets. Through a previous agreement, Deloraine produced Bubs goat milk infant formula and CapriLac goat milk powder. Last month, Bubs announced a joint venture with China’s BeingMate Baby & Child Food. Bubs also entered into an agreement for a private share placement with C2 Capital Partners, which will raise approximately AU$31.4 million (US$21.3 million), to be used in part for the Deloraine acquisition.
Dane Creek acquires RawPaw pet supplements and frozen raw food
Dane Creek Capital Corp. has acquired RawPaw Natural Foods (Dorval, Quebec, Canada), a distributor and marketer of pet supplements that complement a raw-pet-food diet. Dane Creek will pay a portion in cash and the remainder in equity from its subsidiary United Pet Supplements Inc. The acquisition represents Dane Creek’s sixth investment in a female-founded or operated business, and further adds to its pet product focused portfolio.
TerViva raises $20 million for alternative soybean crop
TerViva (Oakland, California), an agriculture technology firm commercializing pongamia trees, raised an additional $20 million in its first close of a Series D funding. Pongamia trees, known as vertical soy, produce as much as 10 times the beans per acre as soy for plant protein, vegetable oil and biofuel, according to TerViva. New funds will allow TerViva to accelerate research and product-development partnerships. Funds will also help supply farmers with the company’s patented, high-yielding oilseed trees in Florida and Hawaii.
Lyons Magnus acquires TRU Aseptics
Lyons Magnus LLC (Fresno, California)—a developer and manufacturer of fruit and flavor solutions for the foodservice, healthcare and dairy industries—has acquired TRU Aseptics LLC (Beloit, Wisconsin), an advanced manufacturer of aseptic products. Lyons Magnus committed to significant investments that will allow TRU to produce a wide variety of low-acid aseptic products including functional beverages, nutritional supplements, cold-brew coffees and more. This portfolio will be marketed as Lyons TRU to Nature products. Lyons Magnus is a portfolio company of Paine Schwartz Partners, LLC.
HCAP Partners invests in testing firm
Impact investor HCAP Partners announced an investment in Confirm BioSciences (San Diego, California), a developer of diagnostic testing and health and wellness solutions for corporations and consumers. Terms were not disclosed. Launched in 2008, Confirm BioSciences is a woman-owned company handling all aspects of drug and wellness kit testing. Tests include HairConfirm and Drug Confirm for substance detection, and HealthConfirm to test for health and wellness hormones and neurotransmitters.
Earthlite acquires Tara Spa Therapy
Branford Castle Partners LP announced that its portfolio company Earthlite LLC (Vista, California), a manufacturer of massage equipment, has acquired Tara Spa Therapy Inc. (Carmel, California). Tara Spa Therapy operates in the lotions and creams segment of the spa industry. Company founder Tara Grodjesk, described as a pioneer of Ayurvedic medicine in the spa industry, will serve as vice president of the consumables division and chief wellness officer of Earthlite.
H.I.G. completes acquisition of Jenny Craig
H.I.G. Capital completed the acquisition of weight-loss company Craig Holdings Inc. (Jenny Craig, Carlsbad, California) in North America, Australia and New Zealand. Founded in 1983, Jenny Craig offers meal plans, prepared foods and supportive consultants. The company’s Rapid Results Program uses the body’s circadian rhythm to deliver weight loss and health benefits.
Avrio rebrands as Rio Investment Partners
Rio Investment Partners of Canada announced the launch of a new venture capital fund focused on the North American ag-tech and food-tech value chain. Rio invests in growth-stage companies seeking capital of $3 million to $10 million. Rio, the successor to Avrio Capital, a specialist in agricultural equity investing, is targeting $150 million of total committed capital and has secured $77.5 million in a first close.
Kellogg to sell conventional snack brands to Ferrero for $1.3 billion
Kellogg Company (Battle Creek, Michigan) has agreed to sell selected cookies, snacks, piecrust and ice-cream-cone businesses to the global chocolate confectioner the Ferrero Group of Italy. The cash transaction is valued at $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion on April 1). Among the brands included in the divestiture are Keebler, Mother's, Famous Amos and cookies for Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. In 2018, these businesses recorded net sales of nearly $900 million. Ferrero makes Ferrero Rocher and Nutella.
NCN XXIV Spring Investor Meeting is scheduled for April 23-24 at Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., New York, New York. Twenty nutrition and health
& wellness companies—representing natural and organic foods, functional foods, supplements, ingredients, technology, personal care and more—will
present their business plans to seek capital. This meeting will focus on full-spectrum hemp/CBD businesses and women/minority-owned businesses.
Other upcoming events include NCN Europe VI on May 6 in Geneva, Switzerland; NCN/NPC III Investor Meeting on Sept. 18-19 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and NCN XXV Fall Investor Meeting on Nov. 13-14 in San Francisco, California.
Disclaimer: NCN does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any NCN news item. Before relying on any NCN News item the information should be independently verified.