The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. said Friday it has sold the assets of its Plainville Farms natural and organic meats business, which includes $25 million in cash, to a group of private investors “for a nominal purchase price.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The group of investors formed the Delaware corporation, Plainville Brands LLC, which assumed Plainville’s liabilities.
The Lake Success, N.Y.-based company (NASDAQ: HAIN), with $2.5 billion in annual sales, contracts with more than 125 co-packers to produce its 55 brands including the Earth’s Best organic baby food, Celestial Seasonings tea, Walnut Acres Organic, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, and BluePrint cold-pressed juice brands, among others.
In January 2018, Hain founder and then-CEO Irwin Simon told the New York Post that the company was exploring selling some of its “more lower-margin businesses,” including its Hain Pure Protein (HPP) organic and natural chicken and turkey division, which includes the Plainville Farms, Freebird and Empire Kosher brands. The company made the announcement official in February.
Earlier this month, Hain’s CFO James Langrock said during a conference call with analysts to discuss second quarter results that rather than selling HPP as a single entity, the company expected the divestiture to occur via “multiple transactions.”
Hain said the process to sell the Freebird and Empire Kosher brands “remains ongoing” and it anticipate closing in the coming months.
HPP’s second quarter net sales were $147.2 million, a decrease of 7 percent, while the segment’s operating loss in the first quarter was $59.6 million. Hain said Plainville Farms did not contribute to earnings or cash flow in FY2018.