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The Campbell Soup Company has said it will acquire Kelsen Group A/S, the Nørre Snede, Denmark-based producer of baked snacks, from Maj Invest, a private equity firm, and several other investors. Campbell plans to operate Kelsen as a standalone business based in Denmark, reporting to Luca Mignini, president – Campbell International.
“We are delighted to welcome the Kelsen team to Campbell and to add Kelsen’s distinctive brands to Campbell’s outstanding portfolio of baked snacks, including our Pepperidge Farm cookies and crackers in North America and Arnott’s biscuits in Australia,” said Denise Morrison, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell’s president and CEO. “Kelsen will give Campbell a solid platform for growth in baked snacks in China and for the expansion of our international footprint. The acquisition of this successful business is another important step in Campbell’s quest to delight new consumers through expansion into higher-growth spaces, including fast-growing emerging markets.”
With primary brands including Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk, Kelsen has established distribution networks in markets in Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa as well as the United States. The company generated DKK 1.043 billion ($180 million) in net sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, and employs 366 people worldwide.
“Kelsen’s combination with Campbell will represent a wonderful marriage of complementary skills and capabilities,” Mignini said. “Its strong position in China and Hong Kong will enhance our presence in the region. At the same time, Kelsen’s talented management team will have the opportunity to leverage Campbell’s marketing, consumer insights, R&D and supply chain expertise to grow the business in both new and existing markets.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Campbell expects the acquisition to be modestly accretive beginning in 2014.