Campbell sells Kelsen snacks business to Ferrero affiliate for US$300m

DENMARK – Campbell Soup Company has agreed to sell its Kelsen Group business to a Ferrero affiliated company for US$300 million.

Campbell said the divestiture of the Denmark-based baked snacks business would enable it reduce debt as it focuses on previous plans to revamp its business through portfolio review.

The sale is part of the company’s strategy to improve performance, drive shareholder value and profitability amidst falling sales at its International division.

Kelsen is a producer of quality baked snacks whose primary brands include Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk.

The business had net sales of approximately US$157 million in the latest 12 months, employing approximately 400 employees.

Kelsen is also part of the Campbell International, which also includes Arnott’s biscuits, Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, and manufacturing operations in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“The sale of Kelsen Group supports our strategy to focus on North America where we have iconic brands and strong market positions, while reducing debt,” said Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO.

“Throughout the divestiture process, we have considered many options for our valuable international assets.

“Selling Kelsen separately from the rest of our international business generates the greatest possible value for Campbell.

“We are committed to the divestiture of the remainder of our international operations and will remain disciplined as we move forward.”

Subject to customary purchase price adjustments, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Campbell embarked on a strategic portfolio overhaul last year, looking to sell both Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses.

It recently completed the sale of its Bolthouse Farms business to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Butterfly for US$510 million.

The company said process to divest the remainder of Campbell International, including Arnott’s was well proceeding.

Campbell has also divested its businesses including Garden Fresh Gourmet and Campbell’s refrigerated soup business.

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