Campbell Soup Company has agreed to offload Denmark-based Kelsen Group to Italian confectionery giant Ferrero for approximately $300 million. Based in Nørre Snede, Denmark, Kelsen is a producer of baked snacks, and its primary brands include butter cookies Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk. Kelsen had net sales of approximately $157 million in the last 12 months.
Belgian-based CTH Invest has said it will assume control over Kelsen’s two production facilities in Denmark and add new biscuits assortments to its portfolio in future. Kelsen is part of the Campbell International division, 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’S DEBT REDUCTION STRATEGY
Last year, Campbell outlined its plan to divest both its Campbell Fresh and Campbell International businesses and launched a portfolio review in August 2018, as the company aims to significantly reduce debt and boost its balance sheet. As part of the portfolio review, Campbell completed the full divestiture of its Bolthouse Farms arm to private equity firm Butterfly in April for approximately $510 million, in a deal which completed the full divestiture of the company’s Campbell Fresh division.
The company claimed that the sale of the Campbell Fresh businesses allowed the company to reduce its debt by approximately $570 million. According to a statement from Campbell’s, the process to divest the remainder of Campbell International, including Arnott’s, is still ongoing.
FERRERO TARGETING KELSEN TO CONSOLIDATE ITS PREMIUM SEGMENT BUSINESS
“With the acquisition of Kelsen, Ferrero increases its relevance in the premium market for assorted biscuits”. This is what the Italian confectionery group said in an official statement.
Kelsen has established a global distribution network and its biscuits are sold in more than 100 countries. “Kelsen’s Royal Dansk and Kjeldsens brands are both well known and bear a leading position in the market for assorted biscuits, particularly in China, Hong Kong and the USA. The transaction includes the two production sites of Nørre Snede and Ribe” – Ferrero group added.