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Campbell’s to sell Kelsen Group to Ferrero for $300 million

US food giant Campbell Soup Company has agreed to sell its Danish snacks unit, Kelsen Group, to a firm linked to Ferrero for $300 million.

CTH, a Belgian Ferrero affiliate, will take over Kelsen’s two production facilities in Denmark and plans to add fine biscuits assortments to its portfolio as part of the deal.

Kelsen, whose primary brands include Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk, had net sales of approximately $157 million in the latest 12 months.

Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO, said in a statement on Friday that the sale supports the company’s strategy to focus on North America and reduce its debts.

“Throughout the divestiture process, we have considered many options for our valuable international assets,” Clouse said.

“Selling Kelsen separately from the rest of our international business generates the greatest possible value for Campbell. We are committed to the divestiture of the remainder of our international operations and will remain disciplined as we move forward.”

Arnott’s sale proceeding

The snacks company is part of Campbell International, which also includes iconic Australian biscuit company Arnott’s, as well as Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, and manufacturing operations in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Campbell’s international unit was put up for sale in August last year after pressure to improve profitability and stock performance.

Campbell said the process to divest the remainder of Campbell International, including Arnott’s, is proceeding. In February the food company said it expected to name buyers for the business by the end of its fiscal year in July.

Ferrero is among the bidders for Campbell’s international unit, along with a consortium comprising private equity firms KKR & Co and Bain Capital LP and Mondelez International Inc Reuters reported.

The AFR understands Campbell Soup will receive another reconfirmation of bids for Arnott’s this week

Campbell said the sale is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

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