US clean label food company Whole Earth Brands strikes deal to buy Wholesome Sweeteners for US$180m

US – Leading manufacturer of clean label foods, Whole Earth Brands has entered an agreement to buy Wholesome Sweeteners, a North American organic sweetener brand for US$180 million.

The acquisition of Wholesome Sweeteners is the second acquisition that the company is making since its merger with Merissant Company and MAFCO Worldwide in June.

Founded in 2001, Wholesome Sweeteners produces organic, plant-based and fair-trade certified sweeteners including sugar, honey, agave nectar, allulose and other liquid sweetener products.

Through the acquisition, Whole Earth Brand will be able to expand its existing portfolio of natural and alternative sweeteners, building its platform across the category in North America.

According to Whole Earth Brands, Wholesome holds a 76% share in the organic granulated sugar segment of the organic and natural channel and has registered retail sales growth of approximately 52% over the 52-week period ending 1 November 2020.

In November, just a few months after its merger, Wholesome Brands acquired Swerve, a manufacture of zero-sugar, keto-friendly and plant-based sweeteners and baking mixes.

Along with its pending acquisition of Wholesome, Whole Earth Brands says it has created a global platform that is expected to generate proforma revenue of approximate US$500 million.

Irwin Simon, executive chairman of Whole Earth Brands, says consumers are demanding more sweetener options that fit within individual health and dietary needs.

He further noted that Whole Earth Brands was delivering on that expectation by becoming the leader in plant-based and alternative sweeteners around the world.

“We are looking forward to integrating Wholesome and growing the world-class brands within our Whole Earth Brands platform,” he added.

Albert Manzone, Whole Earth Brands CEO, said: “This transaction brings us additional scale that we believe will enhance our competitive position and help us expand consumers’ access to the delicious foods they love.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Wholesome will receive US$180 million in cash and is eligible to receive up to $55 million of additional consideration under an earnout through the end of calendar year 2021.

The acquisition is expected to close during the company’s first quarter 2021, subject to customary approval.

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