Home  |  Careers  |  Contact  |  Legal

Homegrown Naturals Acquires Annie's Naturals; Hadley Partners advises Annie's Naturals
November 16, 2005

NORTH CALAIS, VT (November 16, 2005) – Annie’s Naturals, the leading brand of all-natural and organic salad dressings and condiments, today announced that it has been acquired by Homegrown Naturals, Inc. (“Homegrown”), the owner of high-quality natural and organic food brands. The acquisition brings Annie’s Naturals into Homegrown’s family of industry-leading, natural and organic brands. Solera Capital, LLC, the majority owner of Homegrown, financed the transaction through an investment in Homegrown. Financial terms of the acquisition and the Solera investment were not disclosed. Annie’s Naturals was advised by its investment bankers Hadley Partners (www.hadleypartners.com).

“Annie’s Naturals’ commitment to delicious products made with high-quality ingredients, its leadership position in the natural dressing category, and its grassroots focus make it a great fit with Homegrown,” said John Foraker, CEO of Homegrown Naturals. “The addition of the Annie’s Naturals brand and its outstanding products broadens and strengthens Homegrown’s portfolio of best-in-class brands. We plan to maintain the integrity of the Annie’s Naturals brand by continuing to fully support its values, mission, product quality and focus on strategic product development.”

“For 20 years, we’ve worked very hard to build a leading brand in natural and organic foods, dedicated to social and local causes,” said Peter Backman, co-founder of Annie’s Naturals. “Homegrown and its brands share that vision with us and have similar histories. As part of Homegrown, Annie’s Naturals will have a broader platform and greater access to new markets.”

“Much of our historical growth came from people’s interest in natural foods and a desire for better eating habits, and now that growth is expanding to the mainstream shopper,” said Annie Christopher, co-founder of Annie’s Naturals. “We expect Homegrown Naturals will help us continue to grow brand loyalty, and advance Annie’s Naturals’ mission of providing the best-tasting organic and all-natural dressings, sauces and marinades available.”

According to Datamonitor, the organic food sector is growing at a rate of approximately 20% annually, compared to 3% for conventional foods. The current leadership of Annie’s Naturals will continue to play an active role in the evolution of the brand.

About Annie’s Naturals (www.annienaturals.com)

Founded in 1984 by culinary innovator Annie Christopher, Annie’s Naturals is a Vermont-based company and pioneering brand in natural foods. Annie's Naturals produces the best-selling dressings and condiments in the natural foods market and is ranked #5 in sales in the specialty grocery salad dressing category in the U.S., according to SPINS and AC Nielsen market data. With 26 salad dressing flavors and 14 condiments, including mustards, marinades, BBQ sauces, and ketchup, Annie’s Naturals is distributed across the U.S., in Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and Korea.

About Hadley Partners (www.hadleypartners.com)

Founded in 1999, Hadley Partners always seeks to provide the highest-quality merger & acquisition advisory, private placement and financial advisory services. We have a world-class team of veteran bankers that bring Wall Street experience to middle-market and emerging growth companies. Our goal is to develop relationships of trust with the leaders of these companies and with investors that pursue investment opportunities in such companies. We provide our services in a fair and flexible manner, and we always put our clients’ interests first. Hadley Partners is a registered broker-dealer, and a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

----- END -----