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August 13, 2019

Valeo Foods Group in talks to buy snacks brands from Campbell

Ireland's Valeo Foods Group is looking to add to its snacks assets by acquiring brands in the UK and its home market from Campbell Soup Co.

By Dean Best

Ireland’s Valeo Foods Group is looking to add to its snacks assets by acquiring brands marketed in the UK and its home market from Campbell Soup Co.

just-food understands Valeo, home to brands including Barratt confectionery and Balconi cakes, is in talks to buy Campbell’s Kettle Foods operations in the UK and Ireland.

If a deal is struck, the Kettle crisps brand in the two countries would change hands, as well as other assets including Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn. The transaction would not cover the Kettle brand in North America or elsewhere outside the UK and Ireland.

Sky News has reported Valeo and Campbell are in advanced negotiations and said agreement could be reached in the coming days.

Representatives for Valeo declined to comment when approached by just-food. A Campbell spokesperson said the company would not comment on “rumor or speculation”.

Valeo was created in 2010 by private-equity firm CapVest as a vehicle to acquire two Ireland-based food businesses – Batchelors and Origin Foods. A year later, CapVest added a third Irish food manufacturer to that platform, Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.

Throughout the decade, more deals have been done, including the 2014 acquisition of UK honey supplier Rowse and the 2015 purchase of Italian cake and biscuit maker Balconi Industria Dolciaria. In 2017, Valeo snapped up the UK and Czech confectionery assets of Finland’s Raisio and followed that last year with a deal for another UK candy supplier, Tangerine Confectionery. According to the Valeo website, its assets bring in around EUR870m (US$975.1m) in annual sales.

After a board review of Campbell’s business 12 months ago, the US manufacturer has been selling assets, including its fresh-foods operations in North America and its Campbell International division.

The company completed the sale of Campbell International earlier this month when it offloaded Australia-based snacks business Arnott’s to private-equity firm KKR for US$2.2bn.

Last month, CapVest announced another addition to its portfolio of food assets when it said its UK pork processor Karro Food Group had acquired seafood supplier Young’s Seafood.

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