Campbell Soup sells organic food brand Bolthouse Farms for US$510m

USA – Campbell Soup has agreed to sell its organic beverages, dressings and carrots brand Bolthouse Farms to a private equity firm Butterfly Equity for US$510 million.

The deal, subject to customary purchase price adjustments is expected to complete by the end of 2019.

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This is part of the continued portfolio review announced in August 2018 after a series of “dismal operating performance”.

The portfolio review included divestment of both its Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses, a way it hoped to significantly reduce debt and boost its profitability.

With the sale of Bolthouse Farms, the New Jersey-based food producer has completed the divestment of its entire Campbell Fresh division.

“The sale of Bolthouse Farms supports our strategy to focus on our two core North American businesses, Campbell Snacks and Campbell Meals and Beverages, where we have iconic brands and strong market positions,” said Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO.

Based in California, Bolthouse Farms was acquired by Campbell in 2012 and operates facilities in Hodgkins, Illinois, Wheatley, Ontario and Prosser, Washington, employing 2,200 employees.

Campbell outlined the divestitures as part of the Board-led strategy and portfolio review and is currently pursuing divestment of its international business.

The company in February sold its branded refrigerated salsa brand, Garden Fresh Gourmet to an affiliate of Fountain of Health USA.

Garden Fresh, a producer of refrigerated salsa, tortilla chips, hummus, dips and soups, has had problems reaching beyond its customer base in the Midwest.

It also inked a deal to sell its 225,000-square-foot refrigerated soup plant in Everett, Washington, to an affiliate of the Joshua Green Corp., a private investment firm based in Seattle.

It had earlier announced it had completed the sale of its personalised nutrition business, Habit to Seattle based healthcare company.

In fiscal year 2018, Campbell Fresh recorded net sales of $970 million, and the company says proceeds from the divestiture of the Campbell Fresh businesses will allow reduce debt by approximately US$570 million.

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