In a sign of just how badly Campbell Soup Co.’s foray into fresh foods went, the 150-year-old company said Wednesday it’s getting $60 million for a company it bought for $232 million and a plant it opened at a cost of $80 million.
Campbell bought Michigan-based Garden Fresh Gourmet — producer of salsa, other dips, and chips — in 2015. And it opened the refrigerated soup plant in Washington in 2007.
The sales are part of Campbell’s plan announced in August to sell its Campbell Fresh operations and its international businesses to narrow the company’s focus and reduce debt.
Of the Campbell Fresh businesses, all that remains to be sold is Bolthouse Farms — a producer of fresh carrots, beverages, and salad dressings — bought for $1.55 billion in 2012.
Since 2016, Campbell has written off more than $1.4 billion from the value of businesses it had acquired for $2.4 billion from 2012 through 2015 under former chief executive Denise Morrison, who retired abruptly in May, setting off a review the the company’s operations and a fight with activist investor Dan Loeb for control of the company.
The company announced the sales last month but did not give prices.