Butterfly buys Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup

Butterfly buys Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup

A Los Angeles private equity firm is acquiring Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Co. for $510 million.

Butterfly, which specializes in the food sector, has sign a definitive agreement to buy the carrot and juice company, according to an April 12 news release.

The deal brings former Bolthouse CEO Jeff Dunn, an operating partner at Butterfly, back to his former job. Dunn was CEO for 6 ½ years, from 2008 to 2014, becoming president of the Campbell Soup Fresh Division for 2 years, leaving the company in 2016.

“Bolthouse Farms holds a special place in the produce industry and my team and I are deeply committed to strengthening and broadening Bolthouse Farms’ unique legacy,” Dunn said in the release. “We can’t wait to get started.”

The Camden, N.J., soup company bought Bolthouse in mid-2012 for $1.55 billion in cash, with plans to diversify Campbell’s portfolio to include fresh produce.

Baby carrot pioneer Bolthouse has branched out in recent years, adding more beverages and refrigerated salad dressings, maintaining a strong market position in fresh carrots, according to the release.

“We are thrilled to partner with a vertically-integrated produce and fresh food leader with a history as rich as Bolthouse Farms, and we believe the company’s future is very bright especially given the continued rise of plant-based food in the diet of today’s consumer,” Butterfly co-founder Adam Waglay said in the release.

Bolthouse Farms has access to more than 65,000 acres of land, nationwide fresh distribution capabilities, and a carrot and beverage processing facility. The company has facilities at its Bakersfield, Calif., headquarters and others in Hodgkins, Ill., Wheatley, Ontario, and Prosser, Wash., according to the release.

This is the company’s fourth investment, all related to food. The other investments are:

  • Pacifico Aquaculture, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico — Sustainable ocean-raised striped bass;
  • Modern Market, Denver — farm to table fast casual restaurant company featuring salads, sandwiches and protein-centric meals; and
  • Lemonade, Los Angeles — farmer’s market inspired foods with seasonal ingredients.