Premier Foods has announced the acquisition of the UK and Irish businesses of the Campbell Soup Company for GBP460m (US$846m).

The sale is subject to approval by Premier shareholders but expected to be completed within the next few months.

The acquisition offer, on a debt-free, cash-free basis, will be funded by a fully underwritten Rights Issue raising gross proceeds of approximately GBP450m, Premier said.

Premier intends to integrate the Campbell's brands, including Oxo dry stocks, Batchelors dry soup and meals, Homepride sauces and Fray Bentos meat products, into its core grocery business.

Premier Foods chief executive Robert Schofield said: "The Campbell's UK business fits Premier like a glove. This acquisition will bring an excellent portfolio of powerful and iconic brands which we intend to drive forward with increased resource and innovation.

"In addition, the very substantial synergies which Premier can deliver make this transaction highly compelling from a financial perspective. Moreover, we are putting in place a financing structure which will give us the flexibility to continue to pursue our acquisition strategy."