A special purpose acquisition company has fulfilled its purpose of combining two Flavors Holdings Inc. subsidiaries to create Whole Earth Brands.
Merisant Company—maker of Equal and Pure Via sweeteners—and Mafco Worldwide Corporation, which manufactures licorice extract and other derivatives make up the new company. Whole Earth will offer natural alternatives and clean label categories across the global consumer product industry.
Whole Earth Brands' stocks and warrants began trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbols FREE and FREEW, respectively.
Former Hain Celestial CEO Irwin Simon is the new company's executive chairman.
"I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to create Whole Earth Brands and help craft its strategy in the industry where I spent my entire career and built powerful brands," Simon said in a news release. "We have created a global, industry leading platform, focused on food products and ingredients in rapidly growing categories driven by powerful macro trends that we believe are permanently changing the way food is consumed.
"We have an accomplished team capable of strengthening our leadership in our core markets as the shift away from sugar accelerates and demand for natural ingredients intensifies. With the overwhelming support of our public and PIPE investors, we closed the transaction at highly attractive leverage levels, giving us the flexibility to use our financial position to accelerate organic and strategic growth in the areas that we have identified," he continued.
To accelerate its growth, the new business will leverage its management team's experience, its leadership in CPG categories and its capital structure to drive innovation and increase worldwide distribution as it grows.
"We are very pleased to complete the formation of Whole Earth Brands through this business combination," said Albert Manzone, chief executive officer of Whole Earth Brands and former CEO of Flavor Holdings Inc.
"We now have the financial resources to expand through strategic consolidation, grow in adjacent markets and enter into on-trend branded health and wellness categories. Our team recognizes the opportunity this transaction has presented. We are ready to seize the moment."
In addition to Simon and Manzone, Whole Earth Brands will be led by Flavors Holdings’ management team, Andy Rusie, former chief financial officer of Flavors Holdings and Merisant, now CFO of Whole Earth Brands; and Lucas Bailey, former president of MAFCO, now president of Whole Earth Brands’ Flavors and Ingredients Division.
Source: Whole Earth Brands