Campbell Soup sells Danish cookie business to focus on snacks

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Campbell Soup has sold Danish cookie business Kelsen to Ferrero affiliate CTH. Pic: ©GettyImages/dbhanu
Campbell Soup has sold Danish cookie business Kelsen to Ferrero affiliate CTH. Pic: ©GettyImages/dbhanu

Related tags Campbell Snacks Ferrero Kelsen Group Arnott's biscuits holdings

Campbell Soup Company is offloading Kelsen Group to an affiliate of Italian confectionary manufacturer Ferrero for $300m.

Kelsen – based in Nørre Snede – is a producer of baked snacks under the Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk brands, which generate approximately $157m in sales annually.

The deal – expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – will see Belgian holding company CTH assuming control of Kelsen’s two production facilities in Denmark and adding new biscuit assortments to its portfolio.

Campbell acquired Kelsen in 2013. Today, the company has 400 employees and bakes around 25,000 tons of cookies every year, which it sells to 85 countries around the world.

Reducing debt

The transaction is part of Campbell’s aggressive divestiture strategy to significantly reduce debt and boost its balance sheet. The divestitures will also allow it to focus on its North American businesses – Campbell Snacks and Campbell Meals & Beverages.

Last year, the Camden, New Jersey-headquartered company outlined plans to divest both its Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses.

In April, it completed the sale of Bolthouse Farms to private equity firm Butterfly for approximately $510m,​ and said it has identified prospects for selling the remaining parts of the Campbell International segment – which includes Australia-based biscuit brand Arnott’s. 

“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 CEO.

“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.”

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