Campbell Soup Co. on Aug. 30 announced plans to sell its non-core businesses—including its fresh and international units—as part of its “board-led strategy and portfolio review to improve performance and drive shareholder value.”
Campbell International consists of Arnott’s and the Kelsen Group, along with the company’s manufacturing operations in Indonesia and Malaysia and its businesses in Hong Kong and Japan. Campbell Fresh includes Bolthouse Farms, Garden Fresh Gourmet and the company’s refrigerated soup business. Fiscal 2018 net sales of these businesses totaled approximately $2.1 billion. Campbell will used proceeds from the divestitures to reduce its debt.
“Campbell’s board of directors considered a full slate of strategic options, including optimizing the portfolio, divesting businesses, splitting the company and pursuing a sale,” said Keith McLoughlin, Campbell’s interim president and CEO. “The board concluded that, at this time, the best path forward to drive shareholder value is to focus the company on two core businesses in the North American market with a proven consumer packaged goods business model.”
Campbell left the possibility of an outright sale of the company open, with McLoughlin noting that the board remains open to “evaluating all strategic options to enhance value in the future.”
“Our plan will build upon our existing strengths,” he continued. “Our new leadership team will concentrate on significantly improving operational discipline through a rigorous management model that aligns the enterprise from strategy through execution. We are moving forward with a sense of urgency to complete these changes in fiscal 2019, setting the foundation for sustainable, profitable growth in fiscal 2020 and beyond”
Campbell hosted a 90-minute conference call on Aug. 30 to discuss its earnings results and the outcome of its strategic review. A replay of the call is available here.