Clayton Dubilier & Rice announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for funds it manages to acquire Shearer’s Foods, a contract manufacturer and private label supplier serving the snack industry in the United States and Canada, from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the transaction, Ontario Teachers’, Shearer’s existing majority shareholder, will exit its position in the Company.

Founded in the early 1900s, Shearer’s today is an award-winning supplier to some of the largest and most well-known retailers and consumer branded companies. The Company has an expansive manufacturing footprint and diversified offering that has enabled it to become a leading manufacturer of salty snacks and cookies and crackers products. Based in Massillon, Ohio, the Company is led by Executive Chairman Bill Nictakis and CEO Mark McNeil.

“CD&R shares our focus and commitment, and their track record of helping build stronger, more sustainable businesses makes the firm an ideal partner as we continue to drive our business forward,” says Nictakis. “At the same time, I would like to express my gratitude to the Ontario Teachers’ team. Under their more than a decade of ownership, we have successfully grown our footprint and significantly diversified our offerings to our valued customers.”

“As Shearer’s enters a new phase of growth, we are excited to be joined by a team with the experience, expertise and resources to support our mission of producing high-quality, innovative and delicious snacks that we are proud to serve to our families, friends, customers and retailers,” McNeil adds.

“We have deep admiration and respect for Shearer’s, a leading business that shares our core values in a sector and operating model we know and understand well,” says John Compton, CD&R Operating Partner and former President of PepsiCo and CEO of PepsiCo North America, including the Frito-Lay, Quaker and Pepsi beverage divisions. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Bill and Mark to build on Shearer’s history of success in serving great-tasting snacks.”

“We have strong conviction in the differentiated manufacturing capabilities and category management the Company provides, and our goal is to support the team in further scaling operations and capturing the many opportunities ahead to better serve Shearer’s customers,” says J.L. Zrebiec, CD&R Partner.

Ontario Teachers’ initially invested in Shearer’s in 2012 and became a significant majority owner in 2015. The Company has grown from five plants to 17 and has become one of the largest producers of private label and co-manufactured salty snacks in North America. In this time, Shearer’s has also invested in its plant network to strengthen its relationships with strategic blue-chip customers, while also diversifying its geographic and product mix.

“Over the past decade, we have been proud to partner with the Shearer’s management team as it established itself as a market leader in North America for private label and contract manufactured salty snacks, cookies and crackers. Shearer’s has achieved this position by consistently delivering high-quality and innovative products, while expanding its market presence,” says Raymond Shiu, Managing Director, Private Capital at Ontario Teachers’.