Home Americas Americas: Hearthside acquires two bar producing companies, expands into Europe

Americas: Hearthside acquires two bar producing companies, expands into Europe

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Hearthside is acquiring VSI, a large European producer of nutrition, diet, and functional bars.

It is also acquiring a nutritional supplement bar production facility in Boise, Idaho, US, from a subsidiary of Post Holdings.

These two transactions will enable the rapid scaling of VSI’s formulations, research and development (R&D), product development, and full-scale production in the Americas.

Terms were not disclosed.

The two transactions are expected to close in September of 2015.

Hearthside, with 19 US-based facilities, is a contract manufacturer of bars and baked goods.

The VSI acquisition adds three European manufacturing facilities for nutrition, diet, and functional bars as well as R&D, formulation, and innovation capabilities.

US bar growth predictions from market research firm Mintel show continued category strength driven by convenience, snacking occasions, and meal replacement trends.

The strongest growth is in health-related bar categories, including sports, functional, diet, and nutrition.

The acquisition of a recently idled nutritional supplement bar production facility in Boise, Idaho, enables Hearthside to begin production of these new categories in the Americas quickly.

This facility and the three VSI operations expand Hearthside’s network to 23 facilities.

“It takes two years from greenfield to operational bar plant,” said Dwayne Hughes, Hearthside SVP of supply chain.

“We wanted VSI capacity in the North American mix more quickly. This facility is ready to go today. The timing, the location, and the equipment provide a perfect solution that makes us competitive in more bar categories immediately.”

Both Hearthside and VSI are contact manufacturers for premier food companies and global brands.

“Our people, our leadership team and our customers all benefit from this acquisition. We will be able to do more things for more customers in more places,” said Gerard Janssens, CEO of VSI.

“For example, we can design, formulate, and commercialize a new bar, then produce it for customers in Europe and the Americas. This combined bar development and delivery platform sets new standards in the contract manufacturing industry.”