TreeHouse Foods offloads centuries old Irish steel cut oat brand to Cream of Wheat maker B&G

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

TreeHouse Foods has sold McCann's Irish Oatmeal to B&G Foods.
TreeHouse Foods has sold McCann's Irish Oatmeal to B&G Foods.

Related tags Mergers and acquisitions Oats TreeHouse Foods B&G Foods Conagra foods Private label better-for-you

TreeHouse Foods has sold McCann’s Irish Oatmeal to B&G Foods for $32m.

McCann’s dates back to 1800 when John McCann built a mill in County Meath in Ireland to produce steel cut oats.

US-based TreeHouse acquired the brand through its purchase of Sturm Foods in 2010.

Concentrate on private label

The divestiture of the brand aligns with the private label manufacturer’s restructuring process under new president CEO Steve Oakland, who has been tasked with implementing the company’s TreeHouse 2020 turnaround strategy.

“The divestiture supports our efforts to simplify and streamline our business and concentrate our efforts on private label categories that support our customers' corporate brand initiatives,”​ said Oakland.

In 2016, TreeHouse acquired ConAgra’s Private Brands business for $2.7bn,​ a year after purchasing healthy snack manufacturer Flagstone Foods.

Today, TreeHouse boasts a diverse portfolio of private label products – including bakery, cereals, snack, meals, beverages and condiments, produced by its network of over 40 manufacturing facilities across the US, Canada and Italy.

According to Oakland, the proceeds from the B&G transaction will be used to pay down debt. The transaction is expected to have a negligible impact on TreeHouse’s 2018 earnings.

Better-for-you brands

McCann’s will now join New Jersey-based B&G’s portfolio of brands, which includes Back to Nature snacks, Cream of Wheat breakfast cereal and Green Giant vegetables.

The company is likely to gain from the acquisition of McCann's Irish Oatmeal brand, which generated around $13m in sales in 2017.

“McCann’s is an excellent complement to our existing portfolio of brands, including our Cream of Wheat hot cereal brand,”​ said B&G president and CEO Robert Cantwell.

“This acquisition is another example, along with our acquisitions of Green Giant, Spice Islands and other spices and seasoning brands, Victoria and Back to Nature, of our efforts in recent years to acquire better-for-you brands that taste great and resonate with today’s consumer.”

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