Campbell Soup Company announced it signed a definitive agreement for the sale of Arnott’s and other international operations to global investment firm, KKR, for US$2.2 billion.
The sale completed the company’s divestiture of its international and Campbell Fresh divisions, for US$2.5 billion.
Under the agreement, Campbell and KKR will enter a long-term licencing arrangement for exclusive rights to use certain brands in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and other markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It includes: Campbell’s; Swanson; V8; Prego; Chunky; and Campbell’s Real Stock.
Arnott’s was acquired by Campbell in 1997. Campbell’s international operations included its simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as manufacturing in Australia and Malaysia. In the last 12 months its combined sales were US$885 million and it employed 3800 people.
Campbell’s president and CEO, Mark Clouse, said the divestitures generated the “greatest value” from the assets. By applying almost US$3 billion of net proceeds to reduce debt, the company’s balance sheet was “stronger and capable of supporting our plan to grow our focussed and differentiated portfolio”.