Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Plum Organics, a leading provider of premium, organic foods and snacks that serve the nutritional needs of babies, toddlers and children. The company is based in Emeryville, Calif. “Plum” is the No. 2 brand of organic baby food in the U.S. and is currently the No. 4 baby food brand overall.
Baby food is an approximately $2 billion category in the United States. From 2010 to 2012, the premium and organic segments grew at an average annual rate of 43 percent.
The acquisition of Plum will provide Campbell with an attractive platform to extend its core categories of simple meals, snacks and beverages and enhance its access to a new generation of consumers. Plum’s products have strong distribution in key customer channels, including online, natural and baby specialty outlets. With the addition of Plum Organics’ products, Campbell’s portfolio of kids-focused soups, beverages and snacks will have annual sales of more than $1 billion.
Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Plum Organics’ nutritious, on-trend products are a great addition to our North American portfolio of leading brands. The acquisition will help deliver on our dual mandate to strengthen our core businesses and to expand into faster-growing categories and adjacencies. It represents another step toward our long-term goal of shifting Campbell’s center of gravity.”
Plum, started in 2007 by co-founder Neil Grimmer, has used rapid innovation to launch over 150 products for babies, toddlers and kids in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Grimmer said, “Plum was founded by a group of parents on a mission to give the very best food to our little ones. To date, we’ve made a huge impact serving over 200 million organic meals and snacks. Joining the Campbell family will allow us to amplify our mission to reach even more little ones on a global scale. We look forward to building an exciting future together.”
Top Plum products include organic baby food in convenient squeezable pouches; “Super Puffs,” a line of bite-sized nutritious puffed snacks; “Plum Mighty Four,” a new line of nutritious toddler snack pouches; and “Plum Kids” “Mashups,” a line of fun squeezable fruit, veggies and Greek yogurt.
Campbell plans to operate Plum as a standalone business within its Campbell North America division. Senior members of Plum Organics’ management team, including Grimmer, will join Campbell, and continue to lead Plum and its mission-driven culture from Emeryville. As President of Plum, Grimmer will report to Mark Alexander, President-Campbell North America.
Alexander said, “Plum Organics has deep connections and strong appeal with young parents. We believe that the combination of Plum’s brands and unique products with Campbell’s brand-building capabilities, consumer insights expertise and supply chain resources will help accelerate the brand’s growth.”
Plum Organics generated $93 million in gross sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition will not affect Campbell’s previously-announced fiscal 2013 guidance.
Campbell will fund the acquisition through available credit. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
Davis Polk & Wardwell served as Campbell’s legal counsel. Plum was advised by Houlihan Lokey, and Jones Day acted as legal counsel.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s,” “V8” and “Bolthouse Farms.” Through its corporate social responsibility program, the company strives to make a positive impact in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the communities in which it operates. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com and https://twitter.com/CampbellSoupCo.
About Plum Organics
Plum Organics® is a pioneer and a leading provider of premium, nutritious organic baby food, toddler and kid snack food products. Recognized for their unique, culinary-inspired recipes and a modern approach to family nutrition, Plum offers a complete line of organic products that ensure healthy eating from the highchair to the lunchbox?. Plum has dedicated its social mission to delivering nutrient rich, organic food into the hands of little ones in need across America. Forbes magazine named Plum #19 on its 2013 list of “America’s Most Promising Companies.” For more information about Plum please visit: http://www.plumorganics.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects” and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make on the expected impact of the Plum, Inc. acquisition. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, our industry and other future conditions. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Our actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include our ability to realize the anticipated benefits from the Plum, Inc. acquisition and the other factors described in the company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings. We undertake no obligation to update these statements to reflect new information or future events.
Campbell Soup Company
Carla Burigatto (Media)
Jennifer Driscoll (Analysts / Investors)