Campbell Soup Company has signed an agreement to sell its Australian snacks unit Arnott’s and some of its international operations to investment firm KKR for $2.2 billion.
Acquired by Campbell in 1997, Arnott’s makes a range of sweet and savoury biscuits, flavoured snacks, crackers and chocolate bars.
The unit’s regional headquarters are in Sydney, with operations in Western Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Bekasi, Indonesia.
Combined with the previously disclosed sale of Kelsen Group to Ferrero affiliate CTH, Campbell has announced the divestiture of its entire Campbell International division for an aggregate price of $2.5 billion, which it will use to reduce debt.
Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations had combined net sales of approximately $885 million in the last 12 months and they employ approximately 3,800 people.
Campbell CEO Mark Clouse said: “This was a thorough and complex process in which we 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.”
Under the terms of the agreement, 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.
In August 2018, Campbell announced it would divest Campbell International and Campbell Fresh to focus the company on its core North American businesses and reduce debt.
The firm completed the divestiture of its Campbell Fresh operations in June 2019, generating proceeds of approximately $565 million.
Closing for Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations, as well as Kelsen Group, is expected in the first half of fiscal 2020.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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