Sector News

Wessanen to Sell Little Hugs Drink Maker for $55 Million

March 9, 2015
Consumer Packaged Goods
The Dutch food producer Wessanen said on Monday that it had agreed to sell the maker of Little Hugs, the brightly colored fruit drinks in barrel-shaped bottles, to the buyout firm Brynwood Partners for about $55 million.
 
The acquisition of the maker, American Beverage Corporation, gives Brynwood, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn., another well-known brand in the United States. Brynwood agreed to acquire the Juicy Juice brand of fruit drinks from the food giant Nestlé in July.
 
The deal completes Wessanen’s exit from the United States, as it focuses on the manufacturing and sale of healthy and sustainable foods.
 
Christophe Barnouin, the Wessanen chief executive, said it was the “right moment” for the sale of American Beverage Corporation.
 
“It is our final step in becoming a focused player in healthy and sustainable food in Europe,” Mr. Barnouin said in a news release. “This is also what we are and what we stand for: making food that is good for people and our planet by focusing on organic, fair trade, vegetarian and good nutrition.”
 
The sale is expected to close in the second quarter.
 
Founded in 1960, American Beverage Corporation, based in Verona, Pa., makes Little Hugs and Daily’s frozen cocktail mixes.
 
The company had revenue of 94 million euros, or about $102 million, in 2014 and has about 337 employees.
 
Founded in 1984, Brynwood has more than $725 million in assets under management.
 
By Chad Braymarch
 

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