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Wind Point and Teachers’ portfolio company Shearer’s Foods signs agreement to acquire Lance Private Brands

North America's largest supplier of private label salty snacks expands into cookies, crackers and wafers

CHICAGO — Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers') announced today that portfolio company Shearer's Foods has signed an agreement to acquire Lance Private Brands, a private label manufacturer of cookies, crackers and wafers, from Snyder's-Lance, Inc. (NASDAQ:LNCE). The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 after required regulatory approvals are received.

Based in Massillon, Ohio, Shearer's is a contract manufacturer and private label supplier in the snack industry. Shearer's serves the nation's largest branded snack food companies and leading blue-chip retailers.

Wind Point and Teachers' partnered with CJ Fraleigh, who joined Shearer's as Chairman and CEO. CJ, who most recently served as CEO of Sara Lee – North America, has 25 years of experience in consumer products.

"Lance Private Brands is a transformative acquisition for Shearer's, significantly expanding our product offerings," commented Fraleigh. "With this acquisition, Shearer's is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth of contract manufacturing and private label brands with new product capabilities in cookies and crackers, in addition to our existing salty snack products."

Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point stated, "Lance Private Brands is an exciting opportunity for Shearer's. Acquisitions like Lance Private Brands are a strategic element of our value creation plan for Shearer's. CJ has an excellent track record of integrating and growing add-on acquisitions, and we're excited about the growth potential of the combined businesses."

Lance Private Brands will be Shearer's second add-on acquisition. Shearer's acquired Medallion Foods, a manufacturer of tortilla chips, corn chips and cheese snacks, in April 2014.

About Wind Point Partners

Wind Point Partners is a private equity investment firm that partners with top calibre CEOs to acquire middle market businesses where they can establish a clear path to value creation. Since their founding in 1984, they have raised over $2.8 billion in commitments. Additional information about Wind Point is available at

About Teachers'

With $140.8 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2013, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada.  An independent organization, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the defined benefit pensions of 307,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario. For more information, including our annual reports from 2013 and previous years, visit  Follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

About Shearer's Foods, Inc. 

Shearer's Foods, LLC is a leading national contract manufacturer and private label supplier in the snack industry in North America. Headquartered in Massillon, Ohio, Shearer's Foods has six state-of-the-art, geographically diverse manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, and Virginia, including one of the industry's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certified facilities in Massillon, Ohio. The Company is known for producing the highest quality snacks in assorted flavours and sizes, including kettle cooked potato chips, traditional potato chips, tortilla chips, rice crisps, cheese curls and other extruded snacks, and whole grain chips.

Media Contact:
Miranda McCoy
(312) 255-4836