Campbell Soup has launched the process of selling its Bolthouse Farms fresh food company.
CNBC reports that the company had plans to send the Bolthouse financial books to prospective buyers on Monday of this week.
Campbell earlier announced plans to sell the beverage-focused brand and other fresh food investments, as well as international snack brands, to raise funding to pay down debt – and to finance its $1.6 billion acquisition of Snyder’s Lance earlier this year.
The move comes a few days after Campbell reached a deal with activist investor Dan Loeb, who sought to replace the Campbell board entirely as part of his plan to turn the company around. As part of the deal Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund instead got two seats on the Campbell board.
Campbell bought Bolthouse Farms in 2012 for $1.55 billion as part of former CEO Denise Morrison’s strategy of moving into the fresh food market. As CNBC reports, “It is difficult as a public company to manage a fresh food business, which is subject to the whims of the weather, contrary to the predictability public investors demand. An ill-timed California drought further exacerbated Campbell's challenges with Bolthouse.”