USA – The American organic and natural products company, Hain Celestial has agreed to sell its Hain Pure Protein business to private equity Aterian Investment Partners III, LP for US$80 million.

The transaction is subject to adjustments and expected to close before the end of the company’s fiscal year, June 30.

The deal includes poultry-based brands FreeBird and Empire Kosher.

“We are pleased to have entered into an agreement for the sale of our remaining Hain Pure Protein businesses,” said Mark L. Schiller, Hain Celestial’s President and Chief Executive Officer. 

“This divestiture is another step forward in simplifying our organization aligned with our transformational strategic plan as we aggressively pursue margin enhancing initiatives to fuel long-term sustainable growth and profitability.

“We expect the sale of Hain Pure Protein to also help improve our balance sheet as we generate cash from the sale with which we plan to use in part to pay down debt.

“We believe these non-core brands will generate better results under the ownership of an organization that is focused on the protein category.”

The news come after the company reported a net loss of US$65.8 million in the third fiscal quarter that ended March 31.

Operating income stood at US$23.9 million compared to US$29.3 million in the prior year period and an operating loss of US$15.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.

Net sales fell 5% from the prior year to US$599.8 million.

Commenting on the results, Mark L. Schiller said: “Our team is in the early innings of executing on our transformational strategic plan to simplify our portfolio, strengthen our core capabilities, reinvigorate profitable top-line growth, and expand margins, return-on-invested-capital and cash flow.

“We remain committed to delivering consistency in our operational and financial results to drive long-term shareholder value.”

The company recently announced that it has completed divestment of WestSoy plant-based proteins businesses including tofu, seitan and tempeh to Keystone Natural Holdings.