Proving earlier reports true, Campbell Soup Co. is selling Arnott’s and certain of Campbell’s International operations to KKR, a global investment firm, for $2.2 billion in cash. Combined with the previously disclosed sale of Kelsen Group, Campbell has announced the sale of its entire Campbell International division for an aggregate price of $2.5 billion.
Arnott’s regional headquarters are based in Sydney with operations in Western Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Bekasi, Indonesia. Campbell’s International operations include Campbell’s simple meals businesses in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan, and manufacturing in Australia and Malaysia.
Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations had combined net sales of approximately $885 million in the latest 12 months and employ approximately 3,800 people.
Campbell’s President and CEO Mark Clouse said, “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 company completed the divestiture of its Campbell Fresh operations in June 2019, generating proceeds of approximately $565 million. The sale of Campbell International, including the recently announced sale of Kelsen Group to a Ferrero affiliated company for $300 million, is expected to generate proceeds of approximately $2.5 billion. Campbell will use the expected aggregate net proceeds of $3 billion to reduce the company’s debt.
Closing for Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations, as well as Kelsen Group, is expected in the first half of fiscal 2020.
Campbell was advised by Centerview Partners, Goldman Sachs, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and King & Wood Mallesons.