From BakingBusiness.com October 10-2013

HearthsideLede_sb1Rich Scalise on American Bakers Association: For Hearthside Food Solutions, the American Bakers Association (ABA) provides not only a voice in Washington but also an opportunity to network with some of the Downers Grove, IL-based company’s biggest customers.

The value of the ABA: “ABA gives me access to all of the folks who have great brands,” noted Rich Scalise, Hearthside’s chairman and CEO as well as second vice-chairman on the association’s board. “ABA is one of the best organizations around in being close to legislation and regulations that can affect your business. It excels in having the ear and the access so we can explain the issues to legislators. I think it does it better than any other organization.

“It’s not about twisting someone’s arm,” he added. “It’s about the ability to have open dialogue with congressmen and senators about those things that really affect us and our ability to grow.”

From BakingBusiness.com October 10-2013

HearthsideLede_sb2

Hearthside Tightens Focus on Contract Manufacturing

Hearthside Food Solutions sold Golden Temple in May because the Eugene, OR-based granola and cereal business no longer fit into its co-manufacturing business model, according to Rich Scalise, Hearthside’s chairman and CEO.

Downers Grove, IL-based Hearthside purchased Golden Temple in 2010 thinking that the cereal company would enhance its co-manufacturing capabilities and reduce shipping costs to the Northwest and West Coast. All of Hearthside’s other snack plants are located in the central US.

Not a brand company: During the past three years, Golden Temple’s branded and private label business expanded, and it became apparent to Mr. Scalise that it might be a better fit for another company. “We’re not in the branding business,” he noted. The proceeds from the $158 million sale to Post Holdings is helping fund the merger between Hearthside and Ryt-way Industries, Lakeville, MN.

Hearthside defines contract manufacturing: But how does Mr. Scalise define co-manufacturing? Co-manufacturing means Hearthside doesn’t sell directly to retailers or foodservice operators, and it doesn’t have any direct communication with consumers. Rather, it produces snacks and baked goods for customers that ultimately sell their branded products to retailers. Private-label products are typically sold under supermarket or store brands and sold directly to consumers.

Hearthside Food Solutions, a company backed by Wind Point Partners, is selling its Golden Temple business, which makes cereals and granola. The buyer is publicly traded Post Holdings Inc. Terms were not released. Hearthside is based in Downers Grove, Illinois.

PRESS RELEASE

Hearthside Food Solutions (“Hearthside”), a Wind Point Partners portfolio company, announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its Golden Temple business, a manufacturer of all-natural ready-to-eat cereals and granola, to Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POST). The transaction is expected to close after required regulatory approvals are received.

Hearthside, headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill., is a full service contract manufacturer of high quality grain-based food and snack products. Wind Point acquired the Hearthside platform in April 2009, in addition to three subsequent acquisitions, including the Golden Temple business in 2010. During Wind Point’s ownership, Hearthside has grown into the largest independent bakery in the U.S.

Wind Point invested in Hearthside in partnership with Rich Scalise, who joined as CEO at the time of Wind Point’s investment. 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.

Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point, said, “In addition to providing an attractive return on our investment in Golden Temple, the divestiture will allow Rich and his team to focus exclusively on Hearthside’s core business of contract manufacturing.”

Rich Scalise, CEO of Hearthside, commented, “Golden Temple performed very well over the past three years, and we grew both revenue and EBITDA significantly. Golden Temple products have a strong market position within all-natural cereals, and we think they will be an excellent addition to Post’s product portfolio.”

Wind Point’s other investments in the food industry include Shearer’s Foods (acquired in October 2012), Rupari Foods (acquired in July 2011), Nonni’s Biscotti (acquired in February 2011), Ryt-way Industries (acquired in August 2008), Santa Maria Foods (sold to Sofina Foods in 2012), and Bakery Chef (sold to Ralcorp in 2003).

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, IL, 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 13 food manufacturing facilities in six states with a workforce in excess of 5,000.

April 18 – Chicago IL – Crain’s Chicago Business, famous for the “LISTS” it publishes each year, is out with their 2013 “Chicago’s Largest Private Companies” list. Hearthside Food Solutions again is on the list, ranking #48. This is the second year Hearthside has been on this Crain’s list. Last year’s ranking was #44. For more information, visit Crain’s Chicago Business here.