On April 12, 2019 following through with its plan to divest itself of its fresh division to save costs, Campbell Soup Company announced it had signed a definitive agreement to sell organic beverages, dressings and carrots producer Bolthouse Farms to an affiliate of Butterfly Equity, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm for $510 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. Butterfly told CNBC its operating partner Jeff Dunn will take the role of CEO at Bolthouse Farms, where he previously served as president and CEO between 2008 and 2015.
The Bolthouse Farms sale is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2019. Earlier this year, Campbell Soup sold its Garden Fresh Gourmet brand to an affiliate of Fountain of Health USA as well as the company’s refrigerated soup plant in Everett, WA. The Bolthouse sale is the last of its Fresh division. The sales are expected to allow the company to reduce debt by approximately $570 million. The company is also mulling the sale of its Arnott’s and Kelsen biscuit brands.
Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO, said, “The sale of Bolthouse Farms supports our strategy to focus on our two core North American businesses, Campbell Snacks and Campbell Meals and Beverages, where we have iconic brands and strong market positions.”