DALLAS — The Dean Foods Co. has acquired the manufacturing, retail ice cream business and trademark of Friendly’s Ice Cream L.L.C., Wilbraham, Mass., for $155 million from an affiliate of the private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. The Friendly’s restaurant business is not a part of the transaction.
“We are thrilled at the prospects the Friendly’s Ice Cream acquisition brings to Dean Foods,” said Gregg Tanner, chief executive officer of Dean Foods. “Coupled with the momentum of Dean Foods’ current regional brands, the Friendly’s brand will be a catalyst in our strategy to grow our existing ice cream business and branded portfolio. Friendly’s is an ideal complement to our other heritage brands across the country and fills a manufacturing and retail ice cream void in our nationwide footprint.”
Friendly’s has one manufacturing plant in Wilbraham that processes packaged ice cream and other frozen dessert products. The ice cream business generated $166 million in sales in 2015.
Dean Foods said the acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to margins and earnings, and management expects the acquisition will add approximately 6c earnings per share accretion in 2016. At closing, Dean Foods plans to fund the transaction with cash on hand and its existing revolving facilities.“Today marks a new chapter for Friendly’s retail and manufacturing ice cream business,” said John Maguire, president and c.e.o. of Friendly’s. “Dean Foods Co. has recognized the growth momentum that Friendly’s retail ice cream has experienced over the last five years and I am thrilled that Dean Foods will be the ongoing steward of the retail ice cream business, led by the current experienced retail and creamery teams.”