US food maker Hillshire Brands has struck a deal to buy waffle and pancake manufacturer Van’s Natural Foods from private-equity firm Catterton Partners for US$165m.

Hillshire, the owner of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages, is set to add a business selling a range of breakfast foods, including gluten-free options, to its portfolio.

Van’s is expected to generate revenues of approximately US$60m in 2014, Hillshire said. Hillshire president and CEO Sean Connolly claimed the Van’s brand was a “terrific addition to our portfolio”.

Connolly said: “Not only does it expand our presence in the frozen category, it also gives us a proven health and wellness brand with extendability beyond frozen.”

Catterton, which owns food manufacturers including confectioner Ferrara Candy Co., and snack firm Beanitos, acquired Van’s in 2006.

Marc Magliacano, a partner at Catterton, said the private-equity firm and Van’s had created “a distinctive market positioning” for the business. He argued the company would “capitalise on new opportunities” at Hillshire.

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Eric Kufel, Van’s CEO, claimed the company’s presence “in the large and growing wellness consumer lifestyle segment is a perfect complement to Hillshire Brands’ product portfolio”.

Click here for editor Dean Best’s take on the recent M&A activity in the US food sector.