Shearer’s Foods is reportedly exploring a sale of the US snacks business in a deal said to be potentially worth $3bn.

Reuters suggested, based on unnamed sources ‘familiar with the matter’, that Shearer’s Foods’ majority owner – the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) – is the entity exploring a sale for $3bn, including debt.

The news service said the Canadian pension fund “is working with” investment company Goldman Sachs on an ‘auction’ for Shearer’s Foods, a private-label snack maker and co-manufacturer in Ohio.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, also put forward a price tag of $3bn, referencing its own unnamed sources, noting Shearer’s Foods is “working with a financial adviser on the potential transaction”.

OTPP acquired an additional stake in Massilion-based Shearer’s Foods in 2015 from private-equity firm Wind Point Partners to give the pension fund a majority ownership.

The snack maker’s management remained a “meaningful shareholder”, while Wind Point retained a “small interest”, OTPP said in a statement at the time. OTPP took an initial interest in Shearer’s Foods in 2012, alongside the private-equity firm and then chairman and CEO CJ Fraleigh, it added.

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Shearer’s Foods declined to comment when contacted by Just Food. A representative for OTPP said it was the fund’s policy “not to comment on deal speculation”.

Wind Point has yet to reply to a request for comment.

As well as private-label snacks and cookies, Shearer’s Foods co-manufactures chips, tortillas, popcorn and pork rinds. It also produces organic, gluten-free and non-GMO kosher salty snacks, including kettle-cooked potato chips, cheese curls and extruded snacks.

In 2021, the company invested $27.5m in its Waterford plant in Erie, Pennsylvania. At that time, Shearer’s Foods had production facilities in Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota and Arizona, along with another in Ontario in Canada.

Both Reuters’ and Bloomberg’s sources said the business generates more than $250m in EBITDA.