Butterfly Closes Buy of Bolthouse from Campbell

Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, has acquired Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Company for $510 million in cash.

Bolthouse Farms is a vertically integrated food and beverage company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing natural and healthy products. The company’s products include juices, smoothies, proteins, and café drinks; fresh carrots; yogurt salad dressings; olive oil vinaigrettes; and kid’s snacks.Bolthouse Farms was founded in 1915 and acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners in 2005. The company was sold to Campbell Soup Company in 2012 for $1.5 billion in cash. Bolthouse Farms has approximately 2,200 employees and operates facilities in Bakersfield, CA (headquarters); Hodgkins, IL; Wheatley, ON; and Prosser, WA (www.bolthouse.com).

According to the company, it has leading market positions in fresh carrots and refrigerated premium beverages in the US, along with a strong and growing presence in refrigerated salad dressings. However, the business has struggled in recent years including a June 2016 recall of 3.8 million bottles of protein shakes due to possible spoilage.

At closing, Butterfly Operating Partner Jeff Dunn assumes the role of CEO of Bolthouse Farms, where he previously served as President and CEO from 2008 until 2012, when it was acquired by Campbell Soup Company. He continued leading the business for Campbell Soup Company. “Now begins the work of reinforcing Bolthouse Farms’ position as a leader and innovator in produce and plant-based products,” said Mr. Dunn. “Today we begin the next chapter in Bolthouse Farms’ long and successful history.”

Butterfly Equity specializes in investing in the food sector within four target verticals: agriculture & aquaculture, food & beverage products, food distribution and foodservice. The firm was co-founded by Adam Waglay and Dustin Beck in January 2016 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA (www.butterflyequity.com). “Today we are excited to formally join Bolthouse Farms on its mission of providing fresh, healthy plant-based products to consumers around the country,” said Mr. Waglay.

The sale of Bolthouse Farms by Campbell is part of a plan launched in Augusts 2018 to sell off the company’s Campbell Fresh refrigerated foods and Campbell International units to focus on its core snacks, meals and beverage businesses. Campbell Fresh includes Bolthouse Farms, Garden Fresh Gourmet (sold in February 2019 to Fountain of Health USA) and Campbell’s refrigerated soup business (sold in February 2019 to Joshua Green Corporation). Proceeds from the divestitures have been used to reduce debt.

The Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) is a producer of canned soups and related products that are sold in 120 countries around the world. It is headquartered in Camden, NJ (www.campbellsoupcompany.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | June 18, 2019

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