BROOMFIELD - WhiteWave Food Co. said it has signed an agreement to buy Earthbound Farm organic food company for $600 million in cash.

Broomfield-based WhiteWave (NYSE: WWAV) said the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Earthbound Farms is expected to generate more than $500 million in sales in 2013, according to a press statement. The San Jan Bautista, California-based company has about 45 percent of the market of organic packaged salad sales and also sells other organic fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables and dried fruit and snacks.

WhiteWave said it will finance the purchase under its existing credit facilities. Earthbound Farms is expected to remain as an independent business unit at its California location, according to the press statement. The company works with more than 200 farmers.

The Earthbound Farm purchase is "a natural extension of our business that reaffirms WhiteWave's leadership in the organic foods and beverages industry in North America," Gregg Engles, WhiteWave's chief executive and chairman, said in a press statement.

WhiteWave said it will finance the deal with borrowings under its existing credit facilities. And to allow for future growth, the company also plans to increase its credit facilities by $500 million, subject to lenders commitments, according to the press statement.

Well-known WhiteWave brands include Horizon Organic dairy products, Silk soy milk products, Land O' Lakes dairy products and International Delight coffee creamers. The company in May said it had spun off from former parent Dean Foods Co. in Texas.