April 19/New York/Business Wire -- Arlon Group, an investment firm focused on food and agriculture, announced that Arlon Food and Agriculture Partners LP, in partnership with management and Edward Billington & Son, has acquired Wholesome Sweeteners. Wholesome Sweeteners is headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, and is a supplier of organic and Fair Trade certified sweeteners. Nigel Willerton, CEO of Wholesome Sweeteners, will continue to lead the management team.

Wholesome Sweeteners was founded in 2001 as a joint venture between Imperial Sugar Company and Billington. Arlon led the buyout of Wholesome Sweeteners alongside Billington, Wholesome Sweeteners' management and several other investors. Arlon acquired part of Billington's ownership interest and all of the shares owned by Imperial. Billington's continued involvement, along with the retention and increased ownership stake of Wholesome's management, guarantees continuity of the company's consumer focused philosophy and entrepreneurial culture.

"This is an exciting time for Wholesome. Arlon's focus on innovative food businesses makes them perfect partners for the next stage of our growth and development," said Nigel Willerton, CEO of Wholesome Sweeteners.

"We see tremendous opportunities for continued growth at Wholesome Sweeteners, and we look forward to working with the company to realize this potential," said Michelle Brooks, managing principal of Arlon Group. "Nigel and his team have built a remarkable company that has reached a position of market leadership by delivering the highest quality products and meeting the growing consumer demand for socially responsible and environmentally sustainable farming practices.

"Wholesome Sweeteners is the fourth investment for Arlon Food and Agriculture Partners LP, which provides long-term growth capital to middle-market companies across the food and agriculture value chain. The fund held its final closing in March 2012.

 From the April 20, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News