Campbell Soup Co. has said it is in talks to sell some of its European assets to private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
The US soup giant said today (12 August) it is in “exclusive final negotiations” following a “firm offer” from CVC for “certain European activities”.
The proposed transaction includes Campbell’s national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, including Liebig in France and Erasco in Germany. Swedish brand Blå Band and Belgian lines Devos Lemmens and Royco are also among assets up for sale. Four plants in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden are also part of the potential deal.
However, Campbell said the export of Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe or its products in the UK, the Middle East and Africa are not being discussed. Kelsen Group, the Denmark-based snack firm Campbell acquired earlier this month, is also off the table.
In fiscal 2012, the firm’s Europe division generated net sales of around US$530m. Campbell’s sales that year were $7.7bn.
“CVC is delighted to have entered into exclusive final negotiations for the acquisition of Campbell Europe,” said Steven Buyse, senior managing director of CVC Capital Partners. “Campbell Europe is a strong business with iconic brands, experienced management and dedicated employees. CVC is committed to successfully growing the business further and to supporting its leading brand portfolio.”
The proposed transaction is subject to the information and consultation of employee representatives and to the clearance by the relevant European competition law authorities.
It is expected the sale will be completed in the first quarter of Campbell’s fiscal 2014.
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