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March 19, 2008
MELVILLE, N.Y.—The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ:HAIN) acquired the MaraNatha® and SunSpire® brands, as well as an associated nut butter manufacturing facility in Ashland, Ore., from American Capital Strategies Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACAS) for an undisclosed sum. MaraNatha, a producer of natural and organic nut butters, and SunSpire, a maker of natural and organic chocolate products, generated sales of approximately $40 million in the United States and Canada in the last year, primarily in the natural food retail channel. The transaction, which closed March 6, is expected to be accretive to Hain Celestial's earnings during its fiscal year 2009.
"Adding the category leader MaraNatha to our natural and organic portfolio of brands strengthens Hain Celestial's position in the growing nut butter category and expands our variety of offerings with almond, cashew, macadamia and other blended nut butters," said Irwin Simon, president and CEO of Hain Celestial. "Additionally, SunSpire, with its natural and organic chocolate products, provides an exciting entry into the natural candy category, including confectionery ingredients, where we do not have a presence today. Each of these categories is poised for expansion in the natural and grocery channels." He further explained with consumers seeking the heart-health benefits of healthy fats from nuts and antioxidants in chocolate, Hain saw an opportunity to expand MaraNatha and SunSpire's product offerings in the snack category by offering innovative confectionery treats for children and adults.
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