Back to Nature Foods acquires SnackWell’s from Mondelez

The SnackWell's business will strengthen the Mondelez-private equiry JV Back to Nature

Back to Nature Foods plans to increase its scale in the ‘important’ cookie and cracker categories with newly acquired SnackWell’s business.

The joint venture company of Mondelez and private equity firm Brynwood Partners will now benefit from the addition of Mondelez’s healthy cookie and cracker business – acquired last week on December 30, 2013 for an undisclosed sum.

Senior managing partner of Brynwood Partners and non-executive chairman of Back to Nature Henk Hartong said the move shows the confidence Mondelez has in its joint venture arrangement with the private equity firm.

“We are excited to continue to work with Mondelez Global LLC in our collective efforts to maximize the value of Back to Nature, which will be enhanced by the addition of SnackWell’s,” he said.

Back to Nature was formed in 2012 under the agreement that Brynwood had operating control and Mondelez held a minority stake. The latest acquisition comes just one week after Brynwood sold its candy business DeMet's to Turkish firm Yildiz Holding for $221m.

Increasing scale

Mondelez’s healthy snacking line SnackWell’s was launched by Nabisco in 1992 and includes reduced-fat snack options, including crème sandwich cookies, devil’s food cakes, fudge pretzels, yoghurt pretzels and popcorn.

Vincent Fantegrossi, president and CEO of Back to Nature, said the SnackWell’s business will integrate well into the organization.

“Its healthy attributes, loyal consumer base, and strong distribution make SnackWell’s a very complementary product line offering to our Back to Nature products,” he said.

“SnackWell’s is an iconic brand and we are excited about the potential that this acquisition brings to our company. SnackWell’s significantly increases our scale in the important cookie and cracker categories.”

The savory biscuits and cracker category in the US has a retail value of $5.5bn and is set to surge to just under $6m by 2015, according to Euromonitor International data. Similarly, the cookies category in the US will grow over the next few years, although at a slightly slower rate of 1% over the next year.

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