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Campbell's Soup Co to acquire Bolthouse Farms

Campbell's Soup is paying $1.55 billion for Bolthouse Farms
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 Campbell’s Soup Company entered into an agreement to purchase Bolthouse Farms, a natural food and beverage company, for $1.55 billion yesterday.

The leading soup company, which is also responsible for the ‘Pepperidge Farm’, ‘Arnotts’, and ‘V8’ brands, will acquire the ‘Bolthouse Farms’ brand, which sells beverages and salad dressings, along with ‘Earthbound Farms’, ‘Green Giant’ and private label offerings.

The acquisition of these brands will provide Campbell with a new platform for expansion in the $12 billion market for packaged fresh foods, creating one of the industry’s largest healthy beverage platforms, with annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion.

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.”

Campbell plans to operate Bolthouse Farms as a separate business, retaining members of Bolthouse’s senior management team, including current President and CEO Jeff Dunn.

Dunn said, “We are delighted to be joining Campbell and its family of beloved brands. Campbell’s 140-plus year history of providing high-quality foods and beverages to consumers complements Bolthouse’s history of growth and innovation in fresh and packaged fresh foods. We are excited by the alignment between our strategic visions and the significant opportunities for accelerated growth for both companies.”

Campbell will fund its purchase through long and short-term borrowings, with the closing of the transaction expected to occur in late summer 2012. Including the impact of purchase accounting and suspension of the strategic share repurchase plan, Campbell expects that this acquisition will add approximately $0.05 to $0.07 cents per share to its adjusted net earnings in fiscal year 2013, before transaction costs.

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