Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., announced today (Aug. 12) it is in final and exclusive negotiations for the potential sale of its business in Europe to global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
CVC has made a firm offer to purchase the business. The proposed transaction includes Campbell’s national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, including Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium. The proposal also includes the sale of four plants in Puurs, Belgium; Le Pontet, France; Lubeck, Germany; and Karpalund, Sweden.
The proposed transaction does not include the export of Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe nor Campbell’s products in the United Kingdom, the Middle East or Africa. It also does not include Danish cookie-maker Kelsen Group, which Campbell just acquired a month ago. Kelsen will continue its operations in Denmark and the export of its products to countries in Europe and throughout the world.
Campbell estimated the businesses included in the proposed transaction generated annual net sales of approximately $530 million last year. The proposed transaction is subject to clearance by the relevant European competition law authorities. Campbell anticipates the sale would be completed in the first quarter of its fiscal 2014.