- WhiteWave Foods Co., maker of Horizon organic dairy products, will pay $600 million to acquire Earthbound Farm, the largest grower of organic produce in the U.S.
- The deal comes just 14 months after WhiteWave was spun off from Dean Foods, and gives WhiteWave considerable distribution power in the organic and natural space.
- Earthbound, a producer of organic salads, frozen fruits and vegetables and dried-fruit snacks, was founded in California in 1984 by entrepreneurs Drew and Myra Goodman, two New York City kids with a vision of a healthier food industry.
Wall Street loves this deal. Shares in WhiteWave jumped 5 percent on the news. We're a little less enthusiastic. Sure,the transaction makes loads of business sense. And unlike the Sysco-U.S. Foods merger that was also announced on Monday, there aren't a lot "synergies" between the two businesses that will lead to layoffs. The reason we don't like the deal is that the Goodmans have announced that they're exiting the business. And we're going to miss them—they were among the smartest—and most improbable—of the entrepreneurs in the organics and natural-food space.