Back to Nature Foods Acquires SnackWell's from Mondelez

Promises new products, increased marketing

Published in CSP Daily News

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Back to Nature Foods Co. LLC, a portfolio company of Brynwood Partners VI L.P., acquired the SnackWell's cookies and snacks business from Mondelez Global LLC. Terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.

Brynwood VI and Mondelez Global LLC formed the Back to Nature joint venture in 2012 through an innovative structure whereby Brynwood VI acquired operating control while Mondelez Global LLC retained a minority position in the new company. Back to Nature was one of the original natural food brands in the United States. Since the acquisition, Brynwood VI has effected a smooth transition of the business, accelerated new product introductions and increased marketing focus.

SnackWell's was originally launched by Nabisco Inc. in 1992 as a line of reduced-fat and fat-free cookies and crackers. The brand offers its consumers a healthy snacking alternative with great-tasting products, all with reduced-fat content. SnackWell's products include Creme Sandwich Cookies, Devil's Food Cakes, Fudge Pretzels, Yogurt Pretzels and popcorn products in portion control sizes. SnackWell's products are widely distributed in the United States through leading retailers.

"We look forward to owning the SnackWell's brand and integrating it into our Back to Nature organization," said Vincent Fantegrossi, president and CEO of Back to Nature. "Its healthy attributes, loyal consumer base and strong distribution make SnackWell's a very complementary product line offering to our Back to Nature products. SnackWell's is an iconic brand, and we are excited about the potential that this acquisition brings to our company. SnackWell's significantly increases our scale in the important cookie and cracker categories."

"We are thrilled to announce the SnackWell's transaction and are honored that Mondelez Global LLC has the confidence in Brynwood Partners to add another brand to this unique joint venture arrangement," said Henk Hartong, senior managing partner of Brynwood VI and non-executive chairman of Back to Nature. "We are excited to continue to work with Mondelez Global LLC in our collective efforts to maximize the value of Back to Nature, which will be enhanced by the addition of SnackWell's."

Brynwood Partners has developed a unique niche of being the lower-middle market firm of choice for corporate divestitures. In its 29-year history, Brynwood Partners has acquired 39 corporate brands from 15 different corporate sellers, including the SnackWell's acquisition. The SnackWell's transaction marks Brynwood Partners' second transaction with Mondelez Global LLC in addition to two others with Kraft Foods Inc., the predecessor company of Mondelez Global LLC's parent, Mondelez International Inc.