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CVC in line for Campbell Soup European units

The firm, which held a €10.5bn first close on its latest fund last month, eyes a set of businesses that generates an aggregate €530m in annual sales.

CVC Capital Partners has entered exclusive talks with Campbell Soup Company to acquire part of its European activities. 

The London-based firm wants to buy Campbell’s national brands of soups, sauces and simple meals, which include Liebig and Royco in France, Erasco in Germany, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium. The package also comprises four plants located in France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. The businesses proposed for sale generate a combined €530 million, according to a statement released by the company.

The news comes shortly after CVC reached a first close on its flagship European and North American buyout fund, which received €10.5 billion of capital from investors. The vehicle, just €500 million short of its 2008 predecessor, is the largest European buyout fund raised since the financial crisis. 

Founded in 1868, Campbell Soup is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. A member of the S&P 500 index, its products are sold in 120 countries around the world. The company counts around 1,300 staff and posted approximately €400 million in revenues last year. Its canned soups became pop art icons in the 60s, when Andy Warhol’s painted each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time on 32 different canvasses. 

The proposed transaction is subject to clearance by European competition authorities. CVC is being advised by Leopold Capital Partners, Barclays, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Ernst & Young. Campbell is being advised by Allen & Overy LLP.