TreeHouse - keen to concentrate on private label offering.

TreeHouse - keen to concentrate on private label offering.

US-based TreeHouse Foods has sold its McCann's Irish Oatmeal brand to local peer B&G Foods for US$32m.

TreeHouse, the largest provider of own-label products to US grocers, said the deal fits in with its plans to become a more focused business.

Steve Oakland, TreeHouse's CEO and president, said: "McCann's Irish Oatmeal is a wonderful brand that has great opportunity to flourish under B&G Foods' branded food umbrella.

"The divestiture supports our efforts to simplify and streamline our business and concentrate our efforts on private label categories that support our customers' corporate brand initiatives. We expect proceeds from the transaction will be used to pay down debt."

McCann's - which dates back to 1800 when John McCann built a mill in County Meath in Ireland - was acquired by TreeHouse through its purchase of Sturm Foods in 2010.

Sales of the business were approximately $13m in 2017. TreeHouse said the transaction is expected to have a negligible impact on its 2018 earnings.

McCann's will now join New Jersey-based B&G's portfolio of brands, which includes Green Giant vegetables, Back to Nature snacks and Cream of Wheat hot cereal.

TreeHouse is going through a restructuring process which is continuing under new CEO Oakland, who joined in March and is tasked with implementing the company's TreeHouse 2020 turnaround strategy.

In February, before he took up the role, TreeHouse launched a strategic analysis of its snacks business.

Read just-food's analysis: TreeHouse Foods' CEO Steven Oakland faces turnaround challenge