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TreeHouse Foods continues private label buying spree with CAD $170m deal to buy Protenergy Natural Foods

By Elaine WATSON , 21-Apr-2014
Last updated the 21-Apr-2014 at 19:22 GMT

Private label specialist TreeHouse Foods has struck a CAD $170m (c. US $150m) deal to acquire Protenergy Natural Foods, a leading manufacturer of broth, soups and gravies, from Whitecastle Investments Limited, Whitecap Venture Partners and others.

The deal is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2014, said TreeHouse CEO Sam Reed: "The acquisition of Protenergy is expected to expand our existing packaging capabilities and enables us to offer customers a full range of soup products, both wet and dry. 

“The addition of Protenergy is also expected to leverage our R&D capabilities in the evolution of shelf stable liquids from cans to cartons. Lastly, we believe Protenergy's packaging applications present meaningful growth opportunities in the categories that we already play in today, as well as closely adjacent food and beverage categories."

Protenergy - which generated sales of CAD$130m in 2013 - makes broth, soups, sauces and gravies for private label and corporate brands, and also serves as a co-manufacturer of national brands.  With approximately 300 employees, Protenergy is based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and operates a second production facility in Cambridge, Maryland. 

Protenergy specializes in aseptic processing and offers the Tetra Recart packaging process, which enables products traditionally sold in cans and bottles such as beans, vegetables and thick soups, to be sterilized inside a carton - offering shelf stability for up to 24 months

On the acquisition trail

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions for TreeHouse, coming hot on the heels of its $180m deal to acquire Associated Brands, a leading private label manufacturer of powdered drinks, specialty teas and sweeteners; a $35m deal to acquire Cains Foods (mayo, dressings and sauces); and the $25m purchase of refrigerated dressings, sauces, marinades and dips maker Naturally Fresh.

TreeHouse has leading positions in the private label market in nine categories including macaroni cheese, salad dressings, pickles, soup, and hot cereals.