Campbell Soup Company is expanding its packaged fresh foods division, paying $231 million for Garden Fresh Gourmet, a maker of salsas and other dips, it said Tuesday.The Camden-based food company said the deal for the Michigan-based firm will be funded with commercial paper. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, pending customary conditions and approvals.
“The acquisition of Garden Fresh Gourmet is another milestone in reshaping our portfolio toward faster-growing categories, including packaged fresh and organic foods,” Campbell CEO and President Denise Morrison said in a prepared statement. “Garden Fresh Gourmet’s on-trend products will provide Campbell with another growth engine to help us continue to shift our center of gravity.”
Garden Fresh Gourmet, which registered $100 million in net sales in its most recent fiscal year, will join the $1 billion-plus Campbell Fresh division, which features the Bolthouse Farms portfolio of products, Campbell said.
“Garden Fresh Gourmet will allow the Campbell Fresh division to expand in the deli section of the grocery store perimeter and will complement our strong presence in the produce section,” Jeff Dunn, president-Campbell Fresh, said in a statement. “It is a logical extension of our fresh food and beverage platform that resonates with today’s consumers. This is a critical next step in our journey to becoming the leader in the fast-growing packaged fresh category.”
Co-founder Jack Aronson will remain with Garden Fresh Gourmet as an adviser. The company will continue to operate out of its Ferndale, Michigan, headquarters, led by Todd Putman, general manager-Garden Fresh, within the Campbell Fresh division.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP served as Campbell’s legal counsel. UHY LLP was Garden Fresh Gourmet’s adviser, while Maddin, Hauser, Roth & Heller P.C. acted as legal counsel.
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