Campbell sells Arnott's for US$2.2 billion

Campbell Soup Company has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of Arnott’s and certain of Campbell’s International Operations to global investment firm KKR for US$2.2 billion.

Acquired by Campbell in 1997, Arnott’s and Campbell’s International Operations had combined net sales of approximately US$885 million in the last 12 months, employing approximately 3800 people. Arnott’s regional headquarters are based in Sydney, with operations in Western Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Bekasi, Indonesia. Campbell’s International operations include Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, and manufacturing in Australia and Malaysia.

Campbell’s President and CEO Mark Clouse described the sale as a thorough and complex process, in which the company considered many options. “Our approach has resulted in agreements that we believe generate the greatest value from our international assets. By applying almost $3 billion of divestiture net proceeds to reduce debt, Campbell’s balance sheet will be stronger and capable of supporting our plan to grow our focused and differentiated portfolio,” he said.

Campbell and KKR will enter into a long-term licensing arrangement for the exclusive rights to use certain Campbell brands, including Campbell’s, Swanson, V8, Prego, Chunky and Campbell’s Real Stock, in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and other select markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Campbell completed the divestiture of its Campbell Fresh operations in June 2019, generating proceeds of approximately $565 million, after announcing the divestiture in August 2018 to focus on the company’s core North American Businesses.

The sale of Campbell International, including the recently announced sale of Kelsen Group to a Ferrero affiliated company for $300 million, is expected to generate proceeds of approximately $2.5 billion. Campbell will use the expected aggregate net proceeds of $3 billion to reduce the company’s debt.

Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations, as well as those of Kelsen Group, are due to close in the first half of fiscal 2020.

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