After a seven-year run with a private equity group transformed it from a family-owned agricultural concern into one of the country’s fastest-growing juice companies, Bolthouse Farms has been sold to Campbell Soup Co. for just over $1.5 billion.
In addition to its juice portfolio, which has powered Bolthouse’s rise in the beverage world, the company also makes salad dressings and fresh carrots. The company was famously able to use its connections with supermarket produce buyers to help it grab space in the produce section alongside more established brands like Naked, Pom and Odwalla, and created a broad portfolio that included a wholly-owned and operated acai plant in Brazil in addition to its initial carrot juice mixes.
Campbell’s said today that it plans to allow Bolthouse to continue to operate as a separate unit, which will include keeping President and CEO Jeff Dunn on board.
Campbell’s has shown significant growth in its own juice business via its V8 portfolio at a time when its core soup offerings have struggled; the company said that Bolthouse had reported sales of $689 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, including earnings before interest and taxes of $92 million.
“Bolthouse is a great strategic fit with Campbell,” Denise M. Morrison, Campbell’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Its business platforms, capabilities and culture are well aligned with the core growth strategies we announced last year.”