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Soup Maker Campbell Buys Bakersfield’s Bolthouse Farms

The worlds’ largest soup maker has purchased a Bakersfield company that grows carrots, makes salad dressing and refrigerated drinks.The price tag, $1.55 billion.
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Bolthouse Farms from a fund managed by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, a private equity firm.
Founded in 1915, Bolthouse 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 super-premium beverages in the U.S., along with a growing presence in refrigerated salad dressings.
The company employs more than 2100 in Kern County.
Campbell says the acquisition of Bolthouse will provide them with significant presence and a new platform for expansion in the rapidly growing, $12-billion market for packaged fresh foods. The addition of Bolthouse’s market-leading super-premium refrigerated beverages will complement Campbell’s successful “V8” beverage business and will create one of the industry’s largest healthy beverage platforms, with annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion.
Bolthouse’s strong market position in fresh carrots in the U.S. and Canada will also provide an attractive opportunity for growth with value-added products in healthy snacking. Between Bolthouse and rival Grimmway Farms of Kern, the two produce about 90% of the state carrot crop.
Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Bolthouse is a great strategic fit with Campbell. Its business platforms, capabilities and culture are well aligned with the core growth strategies we announced last year. Its strong position in the high-growth packaged fresh category complements our chilled soup business in North America, and offers exciting opportunities for expansion into adjacent packaged fresh segments that respond directly to powerful consumer trends

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