Wind Point Partners said Wednesday that two of its portfolio companies, Hearthside Food Solutions and Ryt-way Industries, will be merging in late May. The transaction will create a contract food producer in North America with over $1 billion in sales and 19 facilities in seven states. Based in Downers Grove, Ill., Hearthside Food Solutions is the largest independent bakery in the U.S. Ryt-way, which is in Lakeville, Minn., is a provider of packaging equipment solutions to food and consumer brands.
Chicago, IL, May 15, 2013 — Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, today announced plans to merge two of its portfolio companies – Hearthside Food Solutions and Ryt-way Industries. The merger, which will take effect in late May, will create the leading contract food manufacturer in North America, with over $1 billion in sales and 19 manufacturing facilities across seven states.
Wind Point acquired Hearthside in April 2009 and Ryt-way in August 2008. Both companies provide contract manufacturing services to leading food and consumer packaged goods companies in North America. During Wind Point’s ownership, Hearthside and Ryt-way each completed three acquisitions that further diversified each company’s customer base and product portfolio.
Rich Scalise, CEO of Hearthside Food Solutions, will assume the role of CEO for the combined business. Rich is a 35-year veteran of the food industry who most recently served as President of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, a division of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH). Rich previously spent 18 years with ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) in a number of roles including his last position as President and COO of ConAgra’s $3 billion Refrigerated Foods Division.
“Hearthside and Ryt-way have a complementary customer base and supply chain capabilities. The combined company will be not only significantly larger but also able to deliver a wider array of services,” said Rich.
David Finch, CEO of Ryt-way, added, “This is a great opportunity for our customers. By offering a broader suite of capabilities, Hearthside and Ryt-way will become a one-stop shop for contract manufacturing.”
“Rich and David have done an excellent job driving strong revenue growth, commercializing new products and completing accretive acquisitions at Hearthside and Ryt-way,” said Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point. “By combining two industry leaders, we are able to create significant growth opportunities for the business in addition to value for our investors. Given the similarities between the businesses, we expect to start realizing benefits immediately.”
About Wind Point Partners
Wind Point Partners is a private equity investment firm that manages commitments of approximately $2.5 billion. Wind Point focuses on partnering with top caliber CEOs to acquire middle market businesses where we can establish a clear path to value creation. Additional information about Wind Point is available at www.windpointpartners.com.
About Hearthside Food Solutions
Hearthside Food Solutions, headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill., is the nation’s largest independent bakery and a full service contract manufacturer of high quality grain-based food and snack products for some of the world’s leading premier brands. Hearthside operates 12 food manufacturing facilities in five states. For more information on Hearthside Food Solutions, visit www.hearthsidefoods.com.
About Ryt-way Industries
Ryt-way, headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., is a leading provider of contract manufacturing and high performance packaging equipment solutions to North America’s leading food and consumer products companies. Ryt-way is known for its flexibility, scale and commercialization expertise in dry foods. Ryt-way operates seven production facilities across four states. Additional information about Ryt-way is available at www.rytway.com.