Bolthouse Farms
(Photo: Bolthouse Farms)

By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

On May 6, Butterfly Equity — a private, Beverly Hills-based firm specializing in the food sector — announced the separation of Bolthouse Farms into two separate companies. Bolthouse Fresh Foods will continue to specialize in fresh carrot production and Generous Brands will include its fresh beverage and salad dressing businesses.

The separation comes roughly four years after Butterfly acquired Bolthouse Farms from the Campbell Soup Company in June 2019. Since then, the equity firm has driven topline growth of more than 30%.

In a press release, Adam Waglay, co-founder, and co-chief executive officer of Butterfly, explained that the move is meant to accelerate the growth of both businesses.

“This separation was always part of our investment thesis, and we have recruited best-in-class leadership teams that are strategically aligned to each business so that Bolthouse Fresh Foods can focus on delivering high quality, fresh produce with excellent service and Generous Brands can become a strong, consumer-centric business with superior fresh beverage brands,” Waglay said.

According to Butterfly, the restructuring was facilitated to separate the debt recapitalization of each business thereby enabling Bolthouse Fresh Food and Generous Brands to increase their portfolios.

Debt recapitalizations are often a way for companies to avoid bankruptcy, reduce financial burdens, or avoid a hostile takeover according to the Corporate Finance Institute. Recapitalization is utilized to stabilize a company’s structure by exchanging one form of financing for another — debt for equity or equity for debt.

For Butterfly, splitting Bolthouse into two separate entities allows for greater investment capabilities and future acquisitions, the press release explained.

Operating partner Jeff Dunn — and former CEO of Bolthouse Farms — will serve as the executive chairman of both companies. Timothy Escamilla, former president of Dole Fresh Vegetables, will serve as CEO of Bolthouse Fresh Foods while Steve Cornell, former president of fresh beverages and desserts at Kraft Heinz Co. will be CEO of Generous Brands.

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