Investment bank Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners have joined forces to buy Hearthside Food Solutions.
Both parties have signed a definitive agreement to acquire the US bakery and snack maker in a deal rumored to be worth more than $1bn . Hearthside sold off its cereal and granola brands to Post Holdings in May 2013 for $158m .
In addition to being an independent bakery, Hearthside co-manufactures more than 150 brands in the snack, cookie, cereal and bar categories.
Goldman Sachs and Vestar said they valued the company’s strength in contract manufacturing.
“Hearthside is a leader in the co-manufacturing industry and management has done an excellent job accelerating its growth trajectory,” said Nicole Agnew, a managing director in the Merchant Banking division at Goldman Sachs.
“Now more than ever, food companies turn to co-manufacturers like Hearthside to help them initiate and accelerate the commercialization process and for timely response to changing consumer preferences,” added Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.