Wind Point Partners, a Chicago, Ill.-based private equity firm, has announced plans to merge two of its portfolio companies—Hearthside Food Solutions and Ryt-way Industries. The merger, which will take effect in late May, will create the leading contract food manufacturer in North America, with over $1 billion in sales and 19 manufacturing facilities across seven states.
Wind Point acquired Hearthside in April 2009 and Ryt-way in August 2008. Both companies provide contract manufacturing services to food and consumer packaged goods companies in North America. During Wind Point’s ownership, Hearthside and Ryt-way each completed three acquisitions that further diversified each company’s customer base and product portfolio.
Rich Scalise, CEO of Hearthside Food Solutions, will assume the role of CEO for the combined business. Scalise is a 35-year veteran of the food industry who most recently served as President of Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products, a division of Ralcorp Holdings Inc. Before that, he spent 18 years with ConAgra Foods in a number of roles including President and COO of ConAgra’s $3 billion Refrigerated Foods Division.
“Hearthside and Ryt-way have a complementary customer base and supply chain capabilities. The combined company will be not only significantly larger but also able to deliver a wider array of services,” said Scalise.