Campbell sells international baked snacks division

Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk brands have been sold to an affiliate of Nutella maker Ferrero
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Campbell Soup Company has sold its international baked snacks division, Kelsen Group, to a Ferrero affiliate for US$300 million.

In a press release issued Friday, Campbell said the Kelsen-Ferrero deal would allow it to reduce debt. The food and beverage maker made the same comment earlier this year when it sold its Bolthouse Farms business to Butterfly Equity for $510 million.

Kelsen produces such brands as Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk, and in the last 12 months reported net sales of approximately $157 million. The company has approximately 400 employees. It is part of Campbell International, which also includes Arnott’s biscuits, Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, and manufacturing operations in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Campbell said the process to divest the remainder of its international unit, including Arnott’s, is proceeding.

"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," said Mark Clouse, Campbell’s president and CEO, in a statement. "Selling Kelsen separately from the rest of our international business generates the greatest possible value for Campbell."

Ferrero, meanwhile, has been busy buying up brands. Little over a year ago Ferrero paid Nestlé $2.8 billion for its chocolate and candy brands, including SweeTarts, Nerds, Butterfinger and Crunch.

Earlier this year, the maker of Nutella purchased Kellogg's Keebler, Mother’s and Famous Amos cookie brands, as well as its fruit-flavoured snack, pie crust and ice cream cone businesses for $1.3 billion.

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