Buitoni Food Company covers Buitoni brand in US, Canada and Caribbean

Buitoni Food Company covers Buitoni brand in US, Canada and Caribbean

Private-equity firm Brynwood Partners has confirmed the creation of Buitoni Food Company after snapping up the North American Buitoni pasta business from Nestlé.

Financial terms for the transaction, disclosed by Nestlé yesterday (8 June), are not being released, Brynwood Partners said. It expects the transaction to close within the next 30 days.

The new Buitoni Food Company will be headquartered in Stamford in Connecticut. The business has a manufacturing facility in Danville in Virginia. Under the terms of the deal, Buitoni Food Company will have the rights to the Buitoni brand in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. Nestlé is, for example, remaining the owner of the Buitoni pizza business in Europe.

Buitoni Food Company will continue to manufacture Nestlé Toll House cookie dough products from the Danville site under what has been described as a "long-term supply agreement".

Brynwood Partners described Buitoni as "a leading national brand in the refrigerated pasta, sauces and cheese categories". Henk Hartong III, the chairman and CEO of Brynwood Partners, added: "The Danville facility will enable us to quickly invest in new culinary and eating trends so that we can build on the strong foundation of current Buitoni offerings. We look forward to innovating and growing the Buitoni brand as more consumers seek out high quality meals that can be easily prepared at home."

The deal is the eighth between the two businesses, transactions that have covered nine brands since 2003. Over the last decade, Brynwood Partners has acquired assets from Nestlé, including US confectionery brand Bit-O-Honey in 2013 and frozen stuffed-pasta business Joseph's Pasta Co. a year later.

The Buitoni disposal is Nestlé's latest move to re-shape its portfolio. 

Late last year, Nestlé sold a majority stake in its Herta meats unit to Spanish firm Casa Tarradellas and set up a joint venture for the rest of the business. And last December it disposed of its ice-cream business in the US to Froneri, the global ice-cream supplier the world's largest food maker co-owns with private-equity firm PAI Partners.

Nestlé also sold its skin health unit last May to an investor group, adding to the disposal of its US confectionery operations to Italy's Ferrero in 2018.

More recently, the company announced a strategic review for its problematic peanut-milk and porridge business in China, Yinlu, with a sale one of the options on the table.