EXCLUSIVE-Buyout fund CVC hires banks for $1.1 bln Continental Foods sale - sources


By Martinne Geller and Pamela BarbagliaLONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - Private equity fund CVC Capital
Partners has picked advisers to sell its food firm Continental
Foods in a deal that could be worth more than 1 billion euros
($1.12 billion), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters
on Monday.
    The business, which produces soups, sauces and bouillons,
includes brands like Liebig in France and Erasco in Germany.
    CVC has owned it since late 2013, when it purchased it from
Campbell Soup <CPB.N> for 400 million euros ($447.1 million).
    CVC's decision to sell Continental Foods comes amid a wave
of deal-making in the packaged food sector where large companies
are looking for ways to boost profits in a weak market.
    Unilever <ULVR.L> <UNc.AS> is trying to sell its margarines
business after rebuffing a takeover bid by Kraft Heinz <KHC.O>,
while Reckitt Benckiser Group <RB.L> is selling its French
mustard business. [nL8N1JC3C7] [nL1N1IS0Y0]
    Nestle <NESN.S> said last week that it would explore
options, including a possible sale, for its roughly $900
million-a-year U.S. confectionery business. [nL8N1JC4WV]
    London-based CVC, which recently raised a record 16 billion
euros for its latest fund, is working with Swiss bank UBS
<UBSG.S> and Paris-based investment boutique Messier Maris on a
possible sale, the sources, who declined to be identified as the
process is private, said. [nL8N1IY1BB]
    Continental Foods, CVC, UBS and Messier Maris declined to
    Based near Antwerp in Belgium, Continental employs more than
1,000 staff across Europe. It has production facilities in
France, Belgium and Germany and is active in five European
markets including Finland and Sweden with revenues of about 400
million euros.
    It could fetch more than 1 billion euros, based on a
multiple of 12 times its earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 90 million
euros, the sources said.
    Private equity funds typically look to sell or list their
portfolio companies within three to five years, hoping to cash
out with a profit.
    ($1 = 0.8946 euros)

 (Editing by Jane Merriman)
 ((pamela.barbaglia@thomsonreuters.com;  +442075427723; Reuters
Messaging: pamela.barbaglia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: CPB , KHC , NESN , RB , UBSG

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