Butterfly Equity acquired Bolthouse Farms, best known for its refrigerated juices, from Campbell Soup Company for $510 million, the Beverly Hills-based firm announced on April 12.

The food-focused private equity firm purchased the company for less than half the $1.55 billion Campbell paid for it in 2012. Former chief executive of Bolthouse, Jeff Dunn, who is a Butterfly operating partner, will head the company. He oversaw Bolthouse from 2008 through the sale and transition to Campbell. He left the company 2016.

In addition to juices, Bolthouse sells packaged carrots and dressings. The company, established in 1915, has access to over 65,000 acres of farmable land, national distribution and 2,200 employees in facilities in Illinois; Washington; Ontario, Canada; and Bakersfield, where the company was previously headquartered.

The sale was part of a $570 million divestiture of Campbell’s fresh food division, which included Garden Fresh Gourmet, a hummus and salsa maker, and the company’s refrigerated soup plant. The Camden, N.J.-based company faces a more-than-$9 billion debt load. The company would not release sale figures for Bolthouse, which was the largest business unit in the division, which had net sales of $970 million in fiscal year 2018, according to a Campbell's release.

Manufacturing, retail and trade reporter Rachel Uranga can be reached at ruranga@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225 ext. 251. Follow her on Twitter @racheluranga

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