Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Wells Expands Ice Cream Portfolio with Halo Top Acquisition; Buys Unilever Factory in Nevada

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Less two weeks into September, it’s already been a very busy month for Wells Enterprises, Inc. On September 3 it announced the signing a purchase agreement with Unilever to acquire its ice cream manufacturing plant in Henderson, Nevada. Six days on later a deal was sealed with Eden Creamery, LLC to acquire the Halo Top brand.

The Halo Top purchase expands Le Mars, Iowa, USA-headquartered Wells’ current portfolio to five distinct brands. The sale is expected to be completed later this month, subject to standard closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Halo Top disrupted the ice cream category by providing a high protein, low sugar, low calorie dessert that gave consumers a reason to purchase ice cream as a treat again. It met a consumer need that no one else in the category was serving. We feel it is a good fit for the Wells portfolio as we look to broaden our offerings for consumers,” said CEO and President Mike Wells.

In business for more than 100 years, Wells is the #2 ice cream manufacturer in the United States. Its Blue Bunny brand has broad distribution in retail stores, and the company is a strong player in the private label and co-packing sectors.

“We’re thrilled to join the Wells family. As Halo Top continues to mature, Wells’ expertise in everything from operations, to managing brands, to making ice cream products for over a century will help us become an even better product and stronger brand,” said Justin Woolverton, founder and chief executive officer of Halo Top.

The acquired company was ranked #1 among most successful consumer packaged goods (CPG) launches in the USA in the 2017 New Product Pacesetters report published by IRI, the Chicago, Illinois-based market research company. That year it generated more than $324 million in sales.

In connection with the purchase, Wells also has agreed to license the Halo Top brand outside of the United States and Canada to a new company that Doug Bouton, president and chief operating officer of Halo Top, plans to operate after closing.

Unilever Plant Acquisition

Meanwhile, Wells purchase of the Unilever ice cream factory in Nevada adds an important footprint in the Western United States and will expand capacity and diversify its ability to support more customers geographically to help meet future demand.

“The Henderson acquisition benefits both parties. The facility has been well-maintained with over 250 skilled employees ready and excited to continue making ice cream,” said CEO Wells. “It provides us with an even larger platform for growth.”

About the Company
Founded in 1913 by Fred H. Wells, Wells Enterprises, Inc. is the largest privately held, family-owned ice cream manufacturing company in the United States. It produces more than 200 million gallons of ice cream per year and distributes products to all 50 states ranging from Blue Bunny’s iconic Bomb Pop to Blue Ribbon Classics and Chilly Cow.

Wells employs more than 4,000 people at plants and offices in Iowa, New York, New Jersey and very soon in Nevada. As the world’s largest manufacturer of ice cream at a single location location, Wells has made Le Mars, Iowa the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.”