Campbell close to selling some European businesses

by Keith Nunes
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CAMDEN, N.J. – The Campbell Soup Co. has entered negotiations to sell some of its European businesses to CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in London. The proposed deal currently includes Campbell’s European soups, sauces and simple meals businesses, including Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium. The proposal also includes the sale of four plants in Puurs, Belgium; Le Pontet, France; Lubeck, Germany; and Karpalund, Sweden.

Not included in the transaction is the export of Campbell’s Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. It also does not include the Kelsen Group, which Campbell said will continue its operations in Denmark.

The businesses included in the proposal had sales of approximately $530 million in 2012, and Campbell anticipates the transaction will be completed by the first quarter of fiscal 2014. A purchase price was not disclosed.

“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.”

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