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CAMDEN, N.J. - Campbell Soup Company today announced that it has agreed to purchase Ireland's second largest dry soup business, Erin Foods, from Greencore Group plc. The purchase price is approximately $26 million. Campbell said the acquisition will expand its European soup and sauces presence and strengthen its current market position in Ireland.
The Erin Foods purchase agreement also includes William Rodgers Foods, a private label supplier in the United Kingdom. Campbell's acquisition of Erin Foods is subject to Irish regulatory and other approvals.
Campbell said it is already the leader in the total soup category in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden as a result of its multi-country European soup and sauces business acquisition from Unilever in May 2001. The company said dry soup is the most popular form of soup in Ireland, representing approximately 70 percent of all commercial soup consumption.
"This acquisition is consistent with our transformation plan strategy," said Douglas R. Conant, Campbell's president and CEO. "'Erin' is Ireland's premier dry soup brand, making it an excellent strategic addition to our European portfolio. By combining 'Erin' with our other businesses in Ireland, we will strengthen our European soup platform."