US-based contract manufacturer Hearthside Food Solutions has entered a definitive agreement to buy Ireland-based public company Greencore Group’s entire US frozen contract packaging business for $1.075bn on a cash and debt-free basis.

Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group, which acquired Hearthside on behalf of its clients, will provide the equity for the transaction.

They will also have the option to invest organically and through acquisition in the Hearthside platform.

Hearthside chairman and CEO Rich Scalise said: “Consumer choice is driving growth in frozen, refrigerated and fresh sandwiches/entrees, where Greencore USA is a recognised leader.

“Leading brands are expanding into these categories and are seeking additional value chain services. The acquisition of Greencore USA will expand our production, innovation, and R&D capabilities across these categories.”

The transaction also expands the Hearthside network to 38 production facilities in the US and Europe, as well as drive further growth and development.

“The Greencore USA acquisition will expand Hearthside’s position in high-growth categories and broaden capabilities for existing and new customers.”

The transaction, which is expected to complete by late November, is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Greencore USA currently operates 13 locations across North America with 3,500 employees.

Charlesbank managing director Ryan Carroll said: “The Greencore USA acquisition will expand Hearthside’s position in high-growth categories and broaden capabilities for existing and new customers, while further scaling operations.

“We are excited about the considerable synergies in culture, fundamental strategy, and operating principles.

“These companies share a commitment to making excellent products and building deep, long-term relationships with the world’s leading brands, as evident in their investments in world-class manufacturing, quality, safety, innovation and, most importantly, people.”

HSBC and Barclays served as financial advisors and Ropes & Gray served as legal advisor to Hearthside Charlesbank and Partners Group on the transaction.

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