US private-equity firm Gryphon Investors has completed two acquisitions in the healthy snack sector.

The firm bought Ann’s House of Nuts from private equity firm Olympus Partners and Amport, North America’s largest private label manufacturer and marketer of dried fruits, it announced today (15 November). Gryphon did not disclose financial details of the deals but is hoping to capitalise on the growing healthy snack sector with the purchases.

According to Mintel, the nuts and dried fruit market grew from US$4.1bn in 2004 to $5bn in 2008 and is expected to continue this growth for the foreseeable future.

“Gryphon has pro-actively targeted the healthy snack sector for nearly two years due to its attractive fundamentals, and we are excited to have found a strategic entry point through these two leading companies,” said Nick Orum, president of Gryphon Investors. “This industry segment has proven resilient through the downturn and shows promise of sustainable growth as consumers’ interest in a healthy lifestyle continues and they devote more of their snack purchases to the ‘healthy’ category.”

George Lampros, CEO of Ann’s House of Nuts said it is “excited” about the next phase of “additional investment, innovation and growth” for the company.

Andrew Stillman, CEO of Amport, said it is looking forward to working with Gryphon as it expands its product offerings and take Amport “to the next level”.