Business divestment

J.M. Smucker divests US baking business to focus on snacks

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pillsbury is known for its Doughboy commercial. Pic: ©GettyImages/Christine Wolf Gagne
Pillsbury is known for its Doughboy commercial. Pic: ©GettyImages/Christine Wolf Gagne
J.M. Smucker has announced it is offloading its US baking business to private equity firm Brynwood Partners for $375m in Q2 of its 2019 fiscal year.

The transaction primarily encompasses products sold in US retail channels under the Pillsbury, Martha White, Hungry Jack, White Lily and Jim Dandy brands, along with all relevant trademarks and licensing agreements, and the company’s facility in Toledo, Colorado.

These brands will now operate under Hometown Food, a new Chicago-based company formed by Brynwood Partners.

The deal does not include J.M. Smucker’s baking business in Canada.

Developing stronger presence in snacking

“The divestiture reflects our strategy to further focus on portfolio and develop a stronger presence in pet food, coffee and snacking – all large, growing categories with sustainable growth projections,”​ said Mark Smucker, the company’s president and CEO.

“Pillsbury, Martha White, and Hungry Jack remain iconic brands and, although they no longer align with our strategic priorities, we are confident they will be nurtured at Brynwood.

“While the decision to divest these brands was difficult, it underscores our commitment to allocating resources toward those areas of the business critical to our growth,”​ he added.

According to Smucker, the company's cost reduction program has freed up investment for key growth brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Smuckers, Uncrustables and Nature’s Recipe.

J.M. Smucker posted $7.4bn revenue in 2017.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Bread, Snacks

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