Campbell Soup Company is reportedly in negotiations to sell its fresh food unit. After announcing plans to explore a sale of its fresh food businesses earlier this year, the company has been approached and is in talks to sell that unit—which includes the Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet brands—to a group of investors led by former Bolthouse CEO Jeff Dunn.
Dunn had previously served as the President of Campbell’s fresh food unit and is still involved in the company's venture capital fund, Acre Venture Partners.
A group of investors led by Dunn—who, six years ago, helped a private-equity firm sell Bolthouse to Campbell for $1.55 billion—is now seeking to reacquire the brand, among Campbell’s other fresh food ventures, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
According to the WSJ, Campbell’s fresh food unit has been “plagued by supply issues.” Campbell has reported set an initial price of $1 billion—but the Journal’s sources report that it could sell for somewhere between $500 and $700 million.
Campbell is also currently embroiled in a proxy fight against activist investor Third Point LLC, with Third Point advocating for an all out sale of Campbell and an outright replacement of its Board.
Will the sale of its fresh food unit satiate Third Point? Will Dunn’s investment group pick up Bolthouse at a fraction of its former selling price? Deli Market News will continue to report.