LOS ANGELES, CA — Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) for $510 million in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.
Founded in 1915 and based in Bakersfield, CA and Santa Monica, CA, Bolthouse Farms is a vertically integrated food and beverage company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing proprietary, high value-added natural, healthy products. The company has leading market positions in fresh carrots and refrigerated premium beverages in the U.S., along with a strong and growing presence in refrigerated salad dressings. Bolthouse Farms benefits from access to over 65,000 acres of premium growing land, nationwide fresh distribution capabilities, and a state-of-the-art carrot and beverage processing facility. The company has approximately 2,200 employees and operates facilities in Bakersfield, California, Hodgkins, Illinois, Wheatley, Ontario and Prosser, Washington.
Bolthouse Farms is Butterfly’s fourth investment within its “seed to fork” approach to investing in food across agriculture, aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution and foodservice. Going forward, Butterfly Operating Partner Jeff Dunn will assume 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 from 2012 until his departure from the company in 2016.
“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,” said Butterfly Co-Founder Adam Waglay.
“We are proud to support Bolthouse Farms in further bolstering its strong positioning within fresh carrots and chilled premium beverages, and are excited to back a group of seasoned operators as passionate about produce as Jeff and his team to lead what is already a strong organization,” said Dustin Beck, Butterfly’s other Co-Founder.
“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,” said Mr. Dunn. “We can’t wait to get started.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in summer 2019.
Butterfly was advised by Kirkland & Ellis on legal matters in connection with the transaction. Campbell Soup Company was advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Butterfly Equity (“Butterfly”) is a Los Angeles, California based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, spanning the entire food value chain from “seed to fork” via four target verticals: agriculture & aquaculture, food & beverage products, food distribution and foodservice. Butterfly aims to generate attractive investment returns through deep industry specialization, a unique approach to sourcing transactions, and leveraging an operations-focused and technology-driven approach to value creation. For additional information about Butterfly, please visit its website at www.butterflyequity.com.