Campbell Soup Co. announced it will sell its European snack food business, Kelsen Group, for $300 million to an affiliate of Italian company, Ferrero. 

It is the latest divestiture by Campbell since it settled with an activist investor in November 2018. 

Campbell said it will allow the company to reduce its debt and was part of its plan to sell its entire Campbell international business. 

Campbell President and CEO Mark Clouse said in a statement: “The sale of Kelsen Group supports our strategy to focus on North America where we have iconic brands and strong market positions, while reducing debt.

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

It comes after the company sold its organic beverages and dressings business, Bolthouse Farms, for $510 million to a private equity firm in June. That sale was another divestiture in its program to offload its Campbell Fresh and international divisions in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. 

There has been much conjecture over who will buy its Australian operation, Arnott’s. In June we reported KKR & Co were now frontrunners, after Mondelez had backed away (Food & Drink Business 07/06/2019). Recent media reports say Pacific Equity Partners are now in the running. Watch this space. 

Packaging News

Global metal packaging manufacturer Jamestrong opened a new $15 million, future-proofed, can making facility in Auckland, New Zealand last night, catering to the burgeoning infant formula market. PKN was there.

Full year results for packaging giant Orora have with underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) up 4 per cent to $217m, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) 3.7 per cent higher to $335.2m and earnings per share (EPS) up 3.7 per cent to 18 cents per share.

Pact Group has cited the drought, weaker demand from the agri and food & beverage sectors, and higher raw material and energy costs as contributing to the FY19 loss.