Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) announced Monday it was acquiring food and beverage company Bolthouse Farms Inc. for $1.55 billion from a fund managed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.

One of the largest providers of carrot-related products for consumers and the food industry, delivering up to 35,000 tons of the vegetable every month, Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bolthouse also makes juice beverages, fruit smoothies, chai and salad dressings.

Cambell's share price gained 0.61 percent to $33.19 in pre-market trading Monday.

The acquisition of Bolthouse will provide Campbell with significant presence and a new platform for expansion in the rapidly growing, $12-billion market for packaged fresh foods, said a statement from the company.

Bolthouse had sales of $689 million in the fiscal year ended March 31. The company had about 2,100 employees. Campbell says it plans to operate Bolthouse Farms as a separate business unit and that CEO Jeff Dunn will remain.