The Hain Celestial Group Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its equity interest in Hain Pure Protein Corp. to Aterian Investment Partners III for $80 million, the company said in a news release.  New York-based Aterian invests in companies in transition, among other categories.

The sale includes the FreeBird and Empire Kosher businesses. The transaction is expected to close before June 30, the end of the company’s fiscal year.

Hain Celestial Chief Executive Mark Schiller said the non-core Hain Pure Protein brands are expected to generate better results under the ownership of an organization that is focused on the protein category.The sale of Hain Pure Protein should also also help improve the company’s balance sheet, generating cash for use in part to pay down debt, Schiller said.

“This divestiture is another step forward in simplifying our organization aligned with our transformational strategic plan as we aggressively pursue margin enhancing initiatives to fuel long-term sustainable growth and profitability,” Schiller said.


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