CAMDEN, N.J. — CTH Invest, a Belgian holding company affiliated with the Ferrero Group, has agreed to acquire the Kelsen Group from the Campbell Soup Co. for $300 million. The Kelsen Group is a manufacturer of baked snacks sold under such brands as Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk.
The Kelsen Group employs 400 and has generated $157 million in sales during the past 12 months.
“The sale of Kelsen Group supports our strategy to focus on North America where we have iconic brands and strong market positions, while reducing debt,” said Mark Clouse, president and chief executive officer of Campbell Soup.
Mr. Clouse said selling Kelsen separately from the rest of its international business “generates the greatest possible value for Campbell.”
Campbell Soup acquired the Kelsen Group in 2013.
The potential fate of the rest of Campbell Soup’s international business, including the Arnott’s cookie and cracker brands, remains up in the air. Campbell Soup first announced plans to divest its international business unit in late August 2018. Since that time, a number of companies and private equity firms have been mentioned as potential suitors, including Mondelez International, Kraft Heinz Co. and Pacific Equity Partners.
Mondelez reportedly ended its pursuit of the Arnott’s business in early June, balking at Campbell Soup’s asking price for the business.