Merisant, the US-based group behind sweetener brands including Equal, Canderel and Pure Via, has been sold to liquorice ingredients supplier Flavors Holdings.

Flavors has acquired Merisant from investors that include Wayzata Investment Partners , the sweetener manufacturer’s majority shareholder.

“Merisant’s reputation and offerings in the tabletop sweetener industry will complement Flavors’ already significant presence in the ingredients business,” said Paul Meister, president of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, a subsidiary of Flavors Holdings.

Wayzata became the majority shareholder in Merisant in 2009 after the Canderel owner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Despite cutting costs, Merisant was having difficulty refinancing its debts.

Merisant emerged from Chapter 11 the following year after finance from Wayzata.