European family-owned food group Vandemoortele announced a strategic partnership agreement with Swedesboro, N.J.-based Banneton, a manufacturer of freezer-to-oven croissants, Danishes and pastries in North America.

As part of the agreement, Vandemoortele will acquire a majority stake in Banneton, while Victor and Alex Litinetsky, founders of Banneton, will stay invested in the capital and continue to lead the day-to-day management of the business after closing.

With a local production platform, Vandemoortele says it will be able to better serve U.S. customers and grow value for them as a committed local partner. The transaction will close as soon as satisfaction of all conditions has been obtained—including required regulatory clearance in the U.S. 

Founded in 2008, Banneton is known for baking premium, clean-label products with great taste, highly consistent quality and visual appeal. Banneton Bakery is currently owned by Victor and Alex Litinetsky and Encore Consumer Capital, a private equity investment firm focused on the consumer products industry.

Jean Vandemoortele, chairman of the board of Vandemoortele, says, "This transaction represents a historic and important milestone for Vandemoortele of having a first production platform in the U.S."

Victor Litinetsky, founder and president of Banneton, says, "Our advanced manufacturing process and infrastructure in the U.S. and our very strong value proposition to customers are a perfect match for Vandemoortele's premier bakery expertise, brand recognition and global presence.  We are very excited to partner with Vandemoortele and pursue our growth journey together."

Houlihan Lokey, Grant Thornton and Ice Miller LLP acted as advisors to Banneton on the transaction.

Alantra, Deloitte and Baker McKenzie acted as advisors to Vandemoortele on the transaction.