Catterton seals $165m food exit

Catterton is selling Van’s Natural Foods, a Fund VI portfolio company the firm acquired in 2006.

Catterton Partners will sell Van’s Natural Foods to The Hillshire Brands Company for $165 million, according to a statement. Catterton declined to disclose a return multiple of the transaction.

Van’s specialises in organic frozen foods and snacks. The company is expected to generate revenues of $60 million in calendar year 2014, according to the statement. The transaction is expected to close in May.

Catterton acquired the company from San Francisco private equity firm KCA Partners in 2006, investing from its $1 billion Fund VI. At the time, Van’s annual revenues stood at roughly $25 million, according to media report. Under Catterton’s ownership, Van’s expanded its product line to include gluten-free and allergy-friendly pancakes, cereal, crackers and snack bars.

Catterton closed its most recent buyout fund, Catterton Partners VII, on its $1.6 billion hard-cap last September. The firm also closed its second growth fund on $400 million. Both funds target control-oriented investments in high-growth consumer companies. Fund VII will invest in companies with enterprise values between $100 million and more than $1 billion, while Catterton’s growth fund will invest in companies with enterprise values less than $100 million. Both funds were oversubscribed.

Catterton’s other portfolio companies in the food and beverage sector include Alasko, Canada’s largest importer and distributor of frozen fruits and vegetables, and Ferrara Candy Company, producer of Lemonheads and Atomic Fireball, according to its website. The firm also invests in companies in the retail and restaurants, consumer products and services, consumer health, and media and marketing services sectors.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based Catterton is led by co-managing partners Michael Chu and Scott Dahnke, as well as 10 other partners, according to the firm’s website.