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Sovos Brands sells Birch Benders to Hometown Food Co.

US food group Sovos Brands has disposed of pancake and waffle mix brand Birch Benders two and a half years after buying it.

It has sold Birch Benders to local peer Hometown Food Co, a baking brands platform owned by investment firm Brynwood Partners.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

California-headquartered Sovos, which owns brands including Noosa Yoghurt and Rao’s pasta sauces, said the disposal is part of its strategy to become a “more focused” business.

Hometown Food Company, based in Chicago, was formed by Brynwood Partners in June 2018 to acquire a portfolio of brands from J.M. Smucker.

Its portfolio includes Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, Martha White and De Wafelbakkers.

Todd Lachman, CEO of Nasdaq-listed Sovos Brands, said: “Today’s announcement reflects Sovos Brands’ continued commitment to growing our core Rao’s and Noosa brands and, in particular, accelerating Rao’s to US$1bn in net sales and beyond. As we look ahead, Sovos Brands will be a more focused business that is better positioned to drive sustainable sector-leading growth for years to come.”

Sovos said the divestiture of Birch Benders will have no impact on the company’s fiscal 2022 net sales and adjusted EBITDA.

Hometown Food Company said the acquisition “reinforces its commitment to the better-for-you food category” as Birch Benders offers a portfolio of keto, paleo, and organic products.

Its CEO Tom Polke said: “The Birch Benders acquisition is a wonderful addition to Hometown Food Company’s portfolio of brands and it increases our footprint in the better-for-you, breakfast and baking categories.”

Birch Benders increases Connecticut-based Brynwood Partners’ platform to more than $2.3bn in annual sales.

In March last year, Sovos Brands, which has grown through M&A, said it was preparing to enter Mexico and Puerto Rico as part of its international expansion strategy, as well as “optimising our route-to-market in Canada”.

It was founded in 2017 with the backing of private-equity firm Advent International and went on to acquire Rao’s Specialty Foods and US frozen entrées supplier Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods the same year.

It then merged with Noosa Yoghurt in 2018 and bought Birch Benders in August 2020.

Birch Benders was established in Denver in 2011 by Matt LaCasse and Lizzi Ackerman to market pancake mix before expanding its range to include toaster waffles and baking cups.

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