Crystal Farms cheese is among Michael Foods brands

Crystal Farms cheese is among Michael Foods' brands

US food group Michael Foods looks set for new private-equity owners after affiliates of Thomas H. Lee Partners agreed to sell the business to a unit of Goldman Sachs for US$1.7bn.

Affiliates of GS Capital Partners have struck a deal to buy Michael Foods, which sells the Papetti range of egg products and Crystal Farms cheese.

Thomas H. Lee Partners, which bought Michael Foods in 2003, will keep a 20% stake in the business.

"Michael Foods is a great company that has produced strong results, and we are very pleased with our investment," said Kent Weldon, MD at Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Adrian Jones, MD at GS Capital Partners, said the Goldman Sachs unit would look to build on Michael Foods "leading market position in the egg category".

The deal is expected to close in the next two months.