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May 2, 2013

US: Nestle sells Bit-O-Honey to Brynwood’s Pearson Candy

Nestle has sold US confectionery brand Bit-O-Honey to Pearson Candy Co., which is owned by private-equity firm Brynwood Partners.

By Dean Best

Nestle has sold US confectionery brand Bit-O-Honey to Pearson Candy Co., which is owned by private-equity firm Brynwood Partners.

The deal for what Brynwood called “an iconic national brand” was announced yesterday (1 May) for an undisclosed sum.

Pearson and its private-equity owner saw the deal benefiting the buyer and Bit-O-Honey.

“The acquisition of Bit-O-Honey will complement our strong Pearson’s business,” Henk Hartong III, a senior managing partner at Brynwood and chairman of Pearson, said. “While management continues to focus on product innovation and expanding the company’s geographic reach, the Bit-O-Honey brand has strong national awareness. We feel this acquisition will be a conduit to expand the reach of all of Pearson’s brands throughout the US.”

Pearson president and CEO Michael Keller added: “We plan to bring renewed focus to the Bit-O-Honey brand by increasing its availability to consumers and by offering customers new and innovative Bit-O-Honey products.”

Brynwood snapped up Pearson in 2011. The private-equity firm is active in the food sector, buying and selling assets in recent years.

Last year, Brynwood acquired a majority stake in crackers and cookies brand Back to Nature from the then Kraft Foods.

It also sold two food businesses. In December, Brynwood offloaded Sun Country Foods, the owner of the Kretschmer wheat germ brand, to Continental Mills. A monthe earlier, it sold US energy bar brand Balance Bar to vitamin and supplement giant NBTY.

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