Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) said today that it plans to acquire Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion.
Company officials said that deal will boost Campbell’s adjusted earnings for 2013 by between 5 cents and 7 cents per share.
Shares of Campbell’s slipped about 1% in Monday morning trading as investors digested the news.
The all-cash deal will mark the largest purchase made by Campbell to date. The company is attempting to diversify its product lines in light of slackening soup sales, the New York Times noted.
Campbell received guidance from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in the merger negotiations. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) served as advisers to Bolthouse Farms.
Campbell reported that its earnings fell 5% last quarter, due in part ot rising commodity prices.
Bolthouse, which grows fresh carrots as well as producing salad dressings and drinks, is owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm, which acquired it in 2005.
After the merger, Bolthouse will become a subsidiary of Campbell. The current executive team will remain in place.