Wind Point Partners seeks to sell Hearthside Food Solutions

Private equity firm Wind Point Partners is considering selling Hearthside Food Solutions, the largest food contract manufacturer in the US, Reuters yesterday reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Wind Point has hired Barclays Plc to run an auction for Illinois-based Hearthside and hopes to net more than $1 billion from the sale.

Chicago-based Wind Point acquired Hearthside in April 2009 in partnership with CEO Rich Scalise.

Rich was president of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products just before launching Hearthside, and  earlier served as the president and COO of ConAgra's $3-billion Refrigerated Foods Division.

Under Wind Point's ownership, Hearthside has completed three acquisitions that more than doubled the size of the business.

In addition, in May 2013 Hearthside merged with Ryt-way Industries, another Wind Point portfolio company, which is a leader in dry food and high speed packaging as well as a designer of high-speed packaging equipment.

Hearthside is the largest private bakery in the US and the food industry's largest contract manufacturer and packager of high quality food and snack products for some of the world's leading premier brands.

It has 19 manufacturing facilities, long-term relationships with a diversified customer base and has annual turnover of over $1 billion.