Earthbound is the largest organic produce brand in North America with expected 2013 sales of more than $500 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to its packaged salads, the company sells fresh, frozen and dried fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO of WhiteWave, says the acquisition provides WhiteWave two of the “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, based in San Juan Bautista, Calif. WhiteWave used cash on hand and borrowings including a $500 million, seven-year loan. WhiteWave has the option to increase its bank facilities by an additional $500 million.
WhiteWave has made several sustainability commitments including reducing waste-to-landfill, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As of February 2013, the company had reduced greenhouse gas emissions on a per gallon of product basis by 21 percent compared to its 2006 baseline. The company had also reduced waste-to-landfill by 35 percent compared to a 2007 baseline and non-ingredient water by eight percent compared to a 2008 baseline.