Campbell Soup Company (Camden, N.J.) has agreed to acquire Bolthouse Farms (Bakersfield, Calif.) from a fund managed by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC for $1.55 billion in cash. Founded in 1915, Bolthouse is a vertically integrated food and beverage company focused on packaged fresh foods (notably baby carrots), refrigerated salad dressings, and super-premium juices, including acai juice.
Bolthouse had $689 million in sales last year. Campbell’s canned products are mostly found in supermarket center aisles, and the acquisition is expected to provide a larger presence in the $12-billion market for packaged fresh foods. Bolthouse’s refrigerated beverages together with Campbell’s V8 business will create a healthy beverage platform with annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion, according to Campbell. Bolthouse Farms will be operated as a separate business unit.
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