business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Campbell Soup “is nearing a deal to sell its Bolthouse Farms fresh-foods brands for about $500 million to a group led by the former chief executive of the troubled division.” Jeff Dunn, the former Bolthouse CEO, who is said to be “working with private-equity firm Butterfly Equity, has since entered exclusive talks with Campbell for the Bolthouse business and the two sides could unveil a deal” as soon as today.

Dunn’s interest in buying back Bolthouse was first reported by the Journal last October.

• The New York Times reports that Ron Burkle, the private equity titan often described as a “supermarket magnate” who at various times has invested in food retail chains, has been in negotiations to acquire the National Enquirer, which has supermarkets as its primary distribution vehicle.

The Enquirer is owned by American Media Inc. (AMI), which has come under fire because of its habit of buying stories from women who accused Donald Trump of extramarital affairs and then not printing them, which amounted to illegal campaign contributions; the Enquirer also is accused by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos of trying to extort him over stories about his extramarital activities.

The Times writes that “disclosure of the talks threatened to scuttle them, leaving both sides frustrated that the news had leaked. Two people with direct knowledge of the talks said Mr. Burkle’s team was upset that news of their involvement had been made public, and they felt used by AMI. It is unclear what will happen next, but AMI was pushing to continue the talks.”

Trash publication. Anybody should be upset with having their names associated with it.
KC's View: