DENVER — The WhiteWave Foods Co. has agreed to acquire organic produce supplier Earthbound Farm for $600 million. With estimated 2013 sales of $500 million, Earthbound Farms is one of the largest organic produce brands in North America and a strong competitor in the organic packaged salad category.
In addition to packaged salads, Earthbound Farm sells organic fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables, and dried fruits and snacks.
“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,” said Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteWave Foods. “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.”
WhiteWave plans to operate Earthbound Farm as a separate business unit and it will remain based in San Juan Bautista, Calif. WhiteWave also said no significant operational changes are anticipated at Earthbound Farm as a result of the acquisition.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of fiscal 2014.“Over the last year, WhiteWave has established a solid foundation and delivered strong financial results as an independent company, and this acquisition will allow us to drive additional shareholder value,” Mr. Engles said. “The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings per share in the first year after close and will add to our already-strong growth momentum. We look forward to partnering with our talented colleagues at Earthbound Farm as we work to change the way the world eats for the better.”