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Campbell Eyes Exit in Europe

Soup maker not satisfied with several product lines in England and Ireland.Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) may sell off its U.K. and Ireland businesses, and it has hired Goldman Sachs for strategic advice.

Douglas R. Conant, CEO of Campbell, said, “Our portfolio in the U.K. and Ireland includes some strong brands, but it is highly fragmented and has not met our company’s growth expectations. It is time to explore strategic alternatives as we strive to optimize the value of these businesses to our shareowners.”

Shares of the food maker dipped $.06 to $32.27 in morning trading, off a shade from a one-year high of $32.35.

The company’s two European businesses, which posted annual sales of about $490 million, offer such product lines as Homepride sauces, OXO dry stocks, Batchelors dry soup and meals, Erin dry soups and sauces, and Fray Bentos meat products.

The Camden-based company makes and sells soup, baked snacks, vegetable-based beverages and premium chocolate products.

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