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7 July, 2017 - 12:15 By Tony Quested

Soup-er deal as Campbell agrees $700m acquisition of Pacific Foods

Campbell Soup Company hq

Wall Street quoted Campbell Soup Company, based locally in St Albans, has agreed to acquire Pacific Foods of Oregon for $700 million in cash.

Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods is a leading producer of organic broth and soup and also produces shelf-stable plant-based beverages and other meals and side dishes.

Pacific Foods has a sustained track record of growth, and generated approximately $218m in trailing 12-month net sales as of May 31.

Campbell Soup Company said Pacific Foods was a natural foods industry pioneer that has strong health and well-being and organic credentials, particularly with younger consumers.

“Its products and approach are very closely aligned with Campbell's real food philosophy,” the company announced in a press release. “Pacific Foods will help accelerate Campbell's efforts to deliver real food and beverages that meet consumers' changing tastes and preferences.

“The acquisition will also further Campbell's efforts to drive innovation in health and well-being to reinvent the centre store, while giving the company more access to natural and organic customers and channels.”

Organic food is a more than $11 billion category in the US, which grew at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3 per cent over the past four years.

This is Campbell's fifth acquisition in five years as the company continues to reshape its portfolio for growth. The company acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012, organic baby-food company Plum and biscuit company Kelsen in 2013, and fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in 2015. This acquisition is the latest in a series of moves Campbell has made to diversify its portfolio in response to increased consumer interest in health and wellbeing.

Campbell plans to fund the acquisition through a combination of short and long-term debt.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Campbell’s worldwide HQ. Image courtesy Campbell Soup Company

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