USA – The J.M. Smucker Company is selling its natural and organic beverage and grains businesses as part of efforts to focus its portfolio on areas with the most growth potential.
The sale to Nexus Capital Management LP in a cash transaction worth US$110 million includes the R.W. Knudsen and TruRoots brands and a licensing agreement for Santa Cruz Organic beverages
The deal also includes manufacturing and distribution facilities associated with those brands in Chico, California, and Havre de Grace, Maryland.
“This transaction supports our strategy to direct investments and resources toward core brands positioned for growth,” Tina Floyd, Smucker’s senior vice president and general manager for Consumer Foods, said in a statement.
Smucker has been working to focus its portfolio on areas with the most growth potential in recent years and recently sold its private label pet food business.
The focus has on the other hand been on categories where it is already a leader. Last month, the company announced it was building a new US$1.1 billion Uncrustables plant and distribution center in Alabama, creating about 750 jobs.
This will be the third plant dedicated to the frozen sandwich brand, which the company says has grown to about US$500 million in annual net sales.
In the next five years, Smucker expects Uncrustables to reach approximately US$1 billion in annual net sales.
“By focusing resources on our core brands, including Uncrustables sandwiches, Jif and Smuckers, we are positioning ourselves to build on our market leadership while continuing to support the growth of the overall category,” Floyd added.
Additionally, the company has announced it is closing and selling its manufacturing facility in Ripon, Wisconsin, and transferring that work to its Orville, Ohio, main facility.
According to Wisconsin media reports, the plant makes jams, jellies, and ice cream toppings and had more than 90 employees.
The affected employees will be able to apply for other roles within the company, a Smucker spokesman said.
The Wisconsin plant will be the second facility Smucker plans to close next year as it had earlier announced that a liquid coffee plant in Virginia would be shut down in 2022.
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