SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Kohlberg & Co., L.L.C., a Mount Kisco, N.Y.-based private equity firm, is partnering with C.J. Fraleigh to acquire the Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Van’s businesses from Tyson Foods, Inc. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under terms of the deal, Kohlberg & Co. would acquire the Chef Pierre, Bistro Collection and Van’s brands, as well as a license to use the Sara Lee brand in certain channels. The deal also includes prepared foods facilities in Tarboro, N.C., and Traverse City, Mich., and a sales office in Canada.
“These are great assets with outstanding team members; however, we’re focused on expanding Tyson Foods’ leadership position in protein,” said Sally Grimes, group president of Prepared Foods for Tyson. “We believe these brands and facilities will do well as part of Kohlberg, which has extensive experience buying and growing businesses.”
Tyson Foods acquired The Hillshire Brands Co. (which had been split off from Sara Lee in 2012) in the summer of 2014, just a few months after Hillshire and Catterton Partners bought Van’s Natural Foods for $165 million.
Mr. Fraleigh will join Kohlberg & Co. as executive chairman once the transaction closes. He is a longtime consumer products executive who at one time was chief executive officer of Sara Lee North America.
“I’m very excited to be joining the team,” Mr. Fraleigh said. “With established and iconic brands, including Sara Lee, Chef Pierre, Bistro Collection and Van’s, this business is well-positioned to continue its historical growth trajectory. I look forward to working with the company’s employees to execute on growth opportunities we’ve identified and continue providing customers with excellent service, innovation and consistently high-quality products.”
Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg & Co. said it has organized eight private equity funds and raised $7.5 billion of committed equity capital.