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Butterfly Equity Spins off Bolthouse Into Two Companies

May 7, 2024
Bolthouse Fresh Foods will continue its legacy focus on carrots while the juice business becomes Generous Brands.

Bolthouse Farms enters yet another stage in its life. The old carrot supplier was spun off May 6 by its private equity owners into two standalone entities: Bolthouse Fresh Foods and Generous Brands.

Bolthouse Fresh Foods “will carry on the century-old legacy of Bolthouse Farms as a leading supplier of fresh carrots to retailers across North America,” Butterfly, the Los Angeles equity fund, explained. Generous Brands will encompass the fresh beverage and salad dressing businesses of Bolthouse Farms and Evolution Fresh.

Butterfly acquired Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup Co. in 2019 for $510 million. Campbell paid Madison Dearborn Partners $1.55 billion for it seven years earlier, at a time when Campbell was trying to diversify and augment its V8 business – Bolthouse had developed its own vegetable juice brand. In 2022, with Butterfly’s backing, Bolthouse bought the Evolution Fresh line of fresh juices from Starbucks.

“This separation is being facilitated by way of separate debt recapitalizations of each business, enabling Bolthouse Fresh Foods and Generous Brands to continue onward as two separate companies with purpose-built strategies and leadership teams,” the private equity firm explained. “Butterfly expects these transactions to enable accelerated growth via increased flexibility for investment in capabilities as well as acquisitions … This separation was always part of our investment thesis.”

Butterfly operating partner Jeff Dunn has been promoted from CEO to executive chairman of both companies; he was Bolthouse’s CEO at the time of the 2012 acquisition by Campbell. Timothy Escamilla, former president of Dole Fresh Vegetables, has been appointed CEO of Bolthouse Fresh Foods, while Steve Cornell, former president of Fresh, Beverages and Desserts at Kraft Heinz Co., was hired to be CEO of Generous Brands.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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