SunOpta acquires 2 brands from Hain Celestial

The brands strengthen the company’s plant-based beverage growth, of which it has a strong private label business.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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SunOpta, a healthy food and beverage company with a large private label plant-based business, has acquired two plant-based beverages from Hain Celestial Group.

The two brands — Dream and WestSoy — have been purchased for $33 million. SunOpta, Minneapolis, had been working with the brands already in a co-manufacturing capacity. The moves will bolster SunOpta’s plant-based segment even further. 

The Dream brand is considered the no. 2 shelf-stable, plant-based milk in the category, founded in 1982, per SunOpta. The brand was an early launch in plant-based milks with broad distribution across natural and organic channels as well as in traditional supermarkets.

Currently, SunOpta produces approximately half of the Dream product portfolio and has done so for more than 10 years. The West Soy brand is a branded shelf-stable soy beverage with a USDA organic certification and American Heart Association certification.

The purchase price of $33 million is funded principally through a $20 million FILO term loan within SunOpta’s ABL facility at LIBOR plus 250 to 300 basis points, depending on the utilization of the ABL facility. Hain Celestial Group owns more than 15 branded products in food, beverage and personal care. Notable brands include the Terra and Garden of Eatin' snack brands and Celestial Seasonings line of teas and hot beverages.

“This transaction is very consistent with our previously stated objective of pursuing strong organic and inorganic growth in our plant-based business,” said Joe Ennen, SunOpta CEO. “As previously communicated, our interest in brands is to allow the acceleration of innovation by giving us platforms to pursue emerging or niche opportunities. These two brands are perfect examples of niche brands that complement, but do not directly compete with, our vitally important co-manufactured partners. Since SunOpta has been manufacturing these brands for years, when this opportunity presented itself it was an obvious fit for us to own these brands. These leading brands will receive the appropriate attention within SunOpta, along with an objective of developing growth opportunities for each of the Dream and WestSoy branded products.”