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Campbell to Sell Europe Potato Chips Business for $80 Million

Various flavors of potato chips sit on a shelf at the Kettle Foods Inc. production facility in Salem, Oregon. (Courtesy: Meg Roussos | Bloomberg)

Campbell Soup Co. agreed to sell its European potato chips business to Valeo Foods Group Ltd. for about 66 million pounds ($80 million), the soupmaker’s latest divestment as it simplifies operations.

Valeo, a Dublin-based food producer, will acquire the Yellow and Kettle brand chips for the European market, according to a statement. Campbell will retain the Kettle brand for all markets except Europe and the Middle East and use the proceeds to reduce debt.

Campbell is selling off international assets as it narrows its focus on snacks and its core business of canned soup. The deal with closely held Valeo, expected to close in the company’s current fiscal quarter, follows the sale of Australia’s Tim Tam cookies and other international operations for $2.5 billion.

Investors have applauded the turnaround efforts, sending Campbell shares up about 36% so far this year. The company’s soup sales in the U.S. rose in the most recent quarter, a positive sign for a company that has been hampered by changing consumer tastes.