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Campbell Soup Company has agreed to sell its European simple meals business to CVC Capital Partners (CVC), a London-based private equity firm. Campbell anticipates the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of calendar 2013.
Under the terms of the agreement, CVC will acquire Campbell’s national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, including Liebig and Roycoin in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium, for a purchase price of 400 million euros. The transaction also includes four plants in Puurs, Belgium; Le Pontet, France; Lubeck, Germany; and Karpalund, Sweden.
The agreement does not include Campbell’s recently-acquired Kelsen Group, which will continue its operations in Denmark and the export of its products to countries in Europe and throughout the world. Campbell will continue to export Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe and Campbell’s products in the United Kingdom and the Middle East and Africa.
“This sale reflects a strategic choice. We are in the process of reshaping our portfolio to change Campbell’s future growth trajectory,” said Denise Morrison, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell’s president and CEO. “As part of this effort, we will be focusing our investments, resources and talent on building the brands that we believe we can grow around the world, strengthening our core and expanding our business in faster-growing geographies and categories.”
In fiscal 2013, the Campbell businesses included in the proposed transaction generated annual net sales of approximately $530 million.