CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co.’s pending acquisition of organic soup maker Pacific Foods may not materialize due to a lawsuit filed against Pacific Foods by a former shareholder.
Campbell Soup on July 6 had entered into an agreement to acquire Pacific Foods of Oregon for $700 million. On Aug. 21, the estate of former shareholder Edward C. Lynch filed a lawsuit against Pacific Foods seeking more than $250 million in damages. Campbell Soup is not named in the suit but has given Pacific Foods 60 days to resolve the issues arising from the suit if the transaction is to be completed. After that period, Campbell may extend the cure period or terminate the agreement.
|Mark Alexander, president, Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell Soup|
“We remain enthusiastic about acquiring Pacific Foods, which has a track record of growth and strong health and well-being credentials,” said Mark Alexander, president, Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell Soup. “However, we will not complete the transaction unless the issues arising from this litigation are resolved to our satisfaction.”
Founded in 1987, Tualatin, Ore.-based Pacific Foods produces organic broth, soup, shelf-stable plant-based beverages, meals and side dishes. Products manufactured by the company are sold under the Pacific brand.The company generated approximately $218 million in sales in the 12 months ended May 31. The acquisition would expand Campbell Soup’s footprint in the $11 billion organic food and beverage category.