KKR has agreed to acquire Campbell Soup’s Arnott’s Biscuits business and certain of other international operations for $2.2 billion in cash.
Arnott’s Biscuits is Australia’s largest producer of biscuits and the second-largest supplier of snack foods. The company has a portfolio of iconic brands including Tim Tams, Mint Slice, and Shapes.Arnott’s was founded by Scottish immigrant William Arnott in 1847 and was acquired by Campbell’s in 1997. The company is headquartered in Sydney with facilities in Western Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Bekasi, Indonesia (www.arnotts.com).
In addition to Arnott’s, Campbell International’s operations include a portfolio of Campbell brands spanning soup, stock, juice and ready meals in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Included in this transaction are Campbell International’s manufacturing operations in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
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 markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“Campbell International represents a unique portfolio of iconic brands that are known and loved by consumers in Australia and across the world,” said David Lang, a Sydney-based member of KKR. “We are privileged and excited to have the opportunity to invest in and grow Arnott’s as an independent business in Australia, in addition to further developing Campbell’s trusted brands across the broader Asian market. This is a milestone investment for KKR, and we look forward to working closely with the Campbell International management team to seek out new and exciting opportunities.”
Arnott’s and Campbell’s International operations had combined sales of $885 million over the last 12 months and have more than 3,800 employees. According to a source familiar with this transaction, Campbell International had an EBITDA of just over $200 million in 2018.
KKR (NYSE: KKR) makes private equity, fixed income and other investments in companies in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. KKR was founded in 1976 and in addition to its New York headquarters has offices in 19 cities around the world (www.kkr.com).
The Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) is a producer of canned soups and related products that are sold in 120 countries around the world. It is headquartered in Camden, NJ (www.campbellsoupcompany.com).
Closing for this transaction is expected to occur in the first half of fiscal 2020.
© 2019 Private Equity Professional | August 2, 2019