San Juan Bautista-based Earthbound Farm organic food produce company has been purchased by Broomfield Colorado-based WhiteWave food company for roughly $600 million. Earthbound Farm was formed in 1984 by Drew and Myra Goodman of Carmel Valley.
The WhiteWave foods company, specializes in dairy products and is home to brands including Horizon, Silk, Land O’ Lakes, and International Delight.
According to Real Time Business News and several local news outlets, consumer packaged food and beverage company WhiteWave Foods Co. (WWAV) said Monday that it has agreed to acquire organic food company Earthbound Farm from its existing shareholders, led by private equity firm Kainos Capital as well as founders Drew and Myra Goodman, for about $600 million in cash.
WhiteWave noted that the acquisition will bolster its presence in the organic foods and beverages industry in North America. The company expects to complete the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals during the first quarter of 2014.
Earthbound Farm, with anticipated 2013 net sales of over $500 million, produces and markets organic fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables, and dried fruits and snacks. Founded in 1984 on a 2.5-acre backyard garden, the company now offers more than 100 varieties of certified organic salads, fruits and vegetables grown on more than 50,000 crop acres by more than 200 farmers.
WhiteWave makes and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, and premium dairy products throughout North America and Europe under brands including Silk, Horizon Organic, International Delight, and Land O Lakes.
Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WhiteWave Foods said, “Fresh foods are one of the most attractive, emerging trends in the food industry today and the market for organic products continues to grow steadily. With Horizon Organic and Earthbound Farm, WhiteWave will now provide the two most popular gateways for consumers to enter into the organic category – produce and dairy.”
According to the Monterey County Herald, Drew Goodman said in a statement he “can’t imagine a better fit” for Earthbound than WhiteWave.
“For 30 years, Myra and I have been committed to Earthbound Farm’s mission to bring the benefits of organic food to as many people as possible,” he said. “We both believe that WhiteWave continues to be a leader in improving how food is produced and will help Earthbound Farm achieve its original mission and reach its full potential.”
WhiteWave plans to operate Earthbound Farm as a separate business unit, still based in San Juan Bautista, California. The company does not anticipate any significant operational changes at Earthbound Farm as a result of the acquisition.
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