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Ontario Teachers’ acquires majority stake in Shearer’s Snacks

TORONTO – The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers') today announced the acquisition of an additional equity stake in Shearer's Snacks (Shearer's) from Wind Point Partners (Wind Point). With this transaction, Teachers' holds a significant majority ownership in Shearer's, with company management remaining a meaningful shareholder. Wind Point retains a small interest in Shearer's.

Teachers' Private Capital (TPC), the private equity group of Teachers', acquired its initial stake in Shearer's in 2012 alongside Wind Point and in partnership with CJ Fraleigh, who joined as Chairman and CEO. Mr. Fraleigh has 25 years of experience in consumer products and most recently served as CEO of Sara Lee - North America.

During Teachers' and Wind Point's ownership, Shearer's completed the acquisitions of Lance Private Brands and Medallion Foods, doubling the size of the business and significantly expanding the private label and contract manufacturing product offerings.

"We have created significant value over the past two years deepening Shearer's longstanding relationships with branded companies and retailers by broadening our scope, both through internal initiatives designed to help our customers grow and by expanding our national manufacturing footprint and diversifying our product offerings," commented Mr. Fraleigh. "We are proud of the transformation accomplished while partnering with Wind Point and Teachers', and we believe this transaction has long-term positive implications for our customers and associates."

"Teachers' welcomes the opportunity to build on our relationship with Shearer's," said Jane Rowe, Senior Vice-President of TPC. "The company's strong management team has demonstrated its ability to grow organically and through acquisitions in a sector that continues to have attractive prospects."

Mark Burgett, a managing director at Wind Point stated, "The Shearer's story is an example of how Wind Point's strategy to partner with a top calibre CEO such as CJ can transform a business. CJ and the entire Shearer's team did an excellent job executing on our value creation plan, by increasing Shearer's category management and manufacturing capabilities to help its customers grow, improving productivity and completing add-on acquisitions."

Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

About Shearer's Snacks

Shearer's Snacks is a leading national contract manufacturer and private label supplier in the snack industry in North America. Headquartered in Massillon, Ohio, Shearer's Snacks has eight state-of-the-art, geographically diverse manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, Virginia, Iowa, and Ontario including one of the industry's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum LEED 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, as well as cookies, crackers, and wafers.

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, visit Follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

About Wind Point

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

Wind Point Contact:
Miranda McCoy
(312) 255-4836