Sweet and salty: Blue Road’s Diamond Foods among companies coming to market

Blue Road Capital, Brynwood Partners and Union Capital are selling – or about to sell – makers of snacks and/or sweets.

Dealmaking has started to pick up and reporters at our affiliate title PE Hub are actively reaching out to sources for leads on PE-backed companies – and companies likely to attract private equity interest – that are expected to go up for sale. Reports will be published on individual companies that sources say are coming to market, and periodically, there will also be round-ups like this one, which focuses on companies making snacks and sweets.

The companies are organized in reverse chronological order, meaning the ones about to hit the market are first. In all cases, we’ve reached out to the private equity sponsors, companies and advisers involved for comment, and we’ll indicate responses.

Diamond Foods

Blue Road Capital’s snack company Diamond Foods, one of the largest North American distributors of almonds, pecans and walnuts, among other mixed nuts, is expected to enter the market in the next two months, sources said. Harris Williams is understood to have been recently engaged as the sellside adviser to Blue Road. The company will be marketed off of $50 million in recent year EBITDA.

Blue Road, Diamond Foods and Harris Williams did not respond to requests for comment.

Sweet Harvest Foods

Blue Road recently started marketing Sweet Harvest Foods, a national producer of natural honey, agave and molasses products. BofA Securities’ mid-market advisory group is advising the process for Blue Road, a consumer products-focused sponsor. Sweet Harvest is being marketed off of $40 million in EBITDA over the last year. Formed in 1923, the company does business as Sweet Harvest and Nature Nate’s Honey Company, distributors of natural sweeteners to food manufacturers, national retail and grocery chains.

Blue Road and Sweet Harvest did not return requests for comment. BofA Securities declined to comment.

Hometown Food Company

Brynwood Partners portfolio company Hometown Food Company, producer of iconic baking products under the Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, Arrowhead Mills and Funfetti brand names, took first round bids on January 23 via sellside adviser Houlihan Lokey, according to sources. The sources also said that Brynwood initially sought a double-digit sale multiple of 10x or more for the $90 million EBITDA company, but initial PE groups did not see the company selling for more than 8x or a high single digit multiple. Brynwood launched the sale process in late 2023 and is expected to sell Hometown to a consumer-focused PE sponsor.

Brynwood, Hometown and Houlihan Lokey did not return requests for comment.

Pervine Foods

Union Capital Associates portfolio company Pervine Foods, maker of celebrity chef Robert Irvine’s Fit Crunch brand protein bars, has been in the market talking to PE sponsors about a potential sale alongside sellside advisers Piper Sandler and KeyBanc Capital Markets. The company, which makes six-layered protein bars and fitness shake powder, is being marketed off of $50 million in EBITDA over the last year.

Union Capital, Pervine, Piper and KeyBanc did not return requests for comment.

Editor’s note: Prepping a company for sale? Got tips or feedback? PE Hub wants to know about it! Send an e-mail to senior reporter Michael Schoeck at michael.s@pei.group.