Brynwood Partners adds Sunny Delight to drinks portfolio

Sunny Delight has been acquired by a second private equity firm after Procter & Gamble sold the juice-based drinks brand's North American businesses in 2004.

Brynwood Partners’ seventh lower mid-market buyout fund Brynwood Partners VII has signed a deal to acquire drinks producer Sunny Delight from JW Childs Associates’ Winter Street Opportunities Fund for an undisclosed amount.

The buyout follows Boston-based Brynwood’s purchase of Juicy Juice brand from Nestle through the fund’s majority-owned portfolio company Harvest Hill two years ago. The company, which was acquired by Brynwood to make the acquisition, also bought the American Beverage Corporation from Wessanen for approximately $55 million last year. That brought with it the alcoholic cocktail brand Daily’s, as well as the Hug’s, Guzzler and Big Burst juice-based drinks brands.

Sunny Delight, which owns the Fruit2O and Veryfine brands, will stand as a separate company within Brynwood Partners Fund VII, but Henk Hartong, chairman and chief executive officer of Brynwood Partners, said his firm “will explore ways to seek synergies that could benefit both companies”.

Hartong added that Sunny Delight’s four manufacturing facilities could be used to supply retailers with new products faster.

Brynwood manages over $700 million of private equity capital for its limited partners, including pension funds and fund of funds, as well as family offices and financial institutions, and has historically invested in food companies and beauty.

The US drinks company was previously been owned by multinational Procter & Gamble, sold it to JW Childs Associates in 2004 following media criticism of the brand’s claims to be a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks. Its attempt to set up a joint venture with Coca-Cola that would have merged Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid division with Procter’s Pringles Chips and Sunny Delight fell through in 2001.

In 2010 Sunny Delight’s Western European Sunny Delight was sold to Orangina Schweppes, as the company looked to shore up its presence and upgrade its manufacturing facilities in the US and Canada with an investment of $70 million.