CAMDEN, N.J.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its European simple meals business to CVC Capital Partners (CVC), a leading global private equity firm.
On Aug. 12, 2013, Campbell announced that it was in final and exclusive negotiations for the potential sale of its European simple meals business to CVC. Following the completion of information and consultation procedures conducted with its European and local works councils in accordance with applicable laws, Campbell has entered into a binding share purchase agreement with CVC.
Under the terms of the agreement, CVC will acquire Campbell’s national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, including Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium, for a purchase price of 400 million euros. The transaction also includes four plants in Puurs, Belgium; Le Pontet, France; Lubeck, Germany; and Karpalund, Sweden. Campbell intends to use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt and for other general corporate purposes.
The agreement does not include Campbell’s recently-acquired Kelsen Group, which will continue its operations in Denmark and the export of its products to countries in Europe and throughout the world. Campbell will continue to export Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe and Campbell’s products in the United Kingdom and the Middle East and Africa.
Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “This sale reflects a strategic choice. We are in the process of reshaping our portfolio to change Campbell’s future growth trajectory. As part of this effort, we will be focusing our investments, resources and talent on building the brands that we believe we can grow around the world, strengthening our core and expanding our business in faster-growing geographies and categories.”
In fiscal 2013, the Campbell businesses included in the proposed transaction generated annual net sales of approximately $530 million.
The transaction is subject to clearance by the relevant European competition law authorities. Campbell anticipates that the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of calendar 2013.
Campbell is being advised by Allen & Overy LLP. CVC is being advised by Leopold Capital Partners, Barclays, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Ernst & Young.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s,” “V8,” “Bolthouse Farms,” “Plum Organics” and “Kjeldsens.” Through its corporate social responsibility program, the company strives to make a positive impact in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the communities in which it operates. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com or follow company news on Twitter via @CampbellSoupCo.
This release contains "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "expects" and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make on the expected impact of the transaction with CVC Capital Partners. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, our industry and other future conditions. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Our actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include our ability to realize the anticipated benefits from the potential transaction with CVC Capital Partners and the other factors described in the company's most recent Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings. We undertake no obligation to update these statements to reflect new information or future events.