Campbell Soup Close to Selling Its European Business

Campbell Soup Close to Selling Its European Business

Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup is getting ready to sell off most of its European operations.

On Monday, Campbell announced that it has entered "final and exclusive negotiations for the potential sale of its business in Europe." Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is the named buyer, and Campbell says CVC has made a firm offer to purchase the business, but Campbell did not say what that offer is.

What is known is that the sale will include Campbell's "national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, including Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Bla Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium." Also on the block: four Campbell's production plants, in Puurs, Belgium; Le Pontet, France; Lubeck, Germany; and Karpalund, Sweden. In total, the businesses being discussed for sale generated $530 million in net sales for Campbell in 2012. That represents about 7% of the company's net sales last year.

Campbell's European business is based in Belgium and employs around 1,300 people. Campbell said the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of its fiscal 2014.

Campbell made a point of noting that its businesses in the U.K., the Middle East, and Africa are not for sale, nor is its Pepperidge Farm export business or its Kelsen Group cookies business in Denmark.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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