Ferrero affiliate completes acquisition of Kelsen snacks business from Campbell

LUXEMBOURG CTH, a Belgian holding company affiliated with the Ferrero Group, has completed its acquisition of Kelsen Group from the Campbell Soup in a US$300 million transaction, subject to customary adjustments.

The deal, which was announced in July this year, includes the acquisition of two processing facilities in Nørre Snede and Ribe, Denmark, whilst retaining the management and the employees of the businesses.

Kelsen manufactures cookies and baked snacks under the brands Royal Dansk and Kjeldsens and distributes products in more than 100 countries employing approximately 400.

Campbell Soup had said it will use the proceeds from the divestiture to reduce debt. The company acquired the Kelsen Group in 2013 for an undisclosed sum. The business had net sales of approximately US$157 million in the latest 12 months.

“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, president and CEO of Campbell Soup when announcing the deal.

“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.”

Campbell embarked on a strategic portfolio overhaul last year, looking to sell both Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses as it narrows its focus on its core canned soup unit and snacks.

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

In August, Campbell Soup Company signed an agreement to sell its Australian snacks unit Arnott’s and some of its international operations to investment firm KKR for US$2.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Valeo Foods has also agreed to acquire Campbell’s European crisp business for approximately €73 million (US$80 million).

Under the agreement, Valeo will acquire Campbell’s Kettle Foods Limited – which manufactures and distributes hand cooked crisps under the Kettle, Go Pure and Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn brands- and its sister company Yellow Chips. 

Campbell will retain ownership of the Kettle brand and its operation in the US and other geographies, with Valeo taking command of the snack brands sold across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. 

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

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