WhiteWave to Buy Earthbound From Kainos for $600 Million

WhiteWave Foods Co. agreed to buy Earthbound Farm, a U.S. brand of organic food, from shareholders led by Kainos Capital LLC and founders Drew and Myra Goodman for about $600 million in cash.

The acquisition is expected to add to earnings per share in the first year after closing and supplement growth at Denver-based WhiteWave, Chief Executive Officer Gregg Engles said in a statement today. Earthbound Farm is the largest organic produce brand in North America with forecast 2013 sales of more than $500 million, WhiteWave said.

WhiteWave plans to operate Earthbound Farm as a separate unit, based in San Juan Bautista, California, the company said. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions. WhiteWave plans to fund the acquisition with existing credit facilities and also intends to increase its credit facilities by $500 million this month.

WhiteWave rose 3 percent to $22.44 at 11:31 a.m. in New York. The shares gained 40 percent this year through Dec. 6, compared with a 27 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. acted as financial adviser to WhiteWave and Haynes and Boone LLP provided legal advice. Barclays and Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisers and Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Cooley LLP acted as legal advisers to Earthbound Farm, according to the statement.

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